Bigfork High School Football Player Collapses During Practice

By Beacon Staff

KALISPELL (AP) – A Bigfork High School football player collapsed during practice Monday and was in “stable but critical” condition Tuesday afternoon at the Kalispell Regional Medical Center, a hospital spokesman said.

The junior, whose name was not released, collapsed at about 8 p.m., as the team was beginning its conditioning workout.

Assistant coaches Saia Misa and Sy Muir immediately began cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Bigfork Superintendent Russell Kinzer told The Daily Inter Lake newspaper.

“The paramedics and at least one doctor credited the CPR on the field with saving the boy’s life,” he said.

An ambulance, the local fire department and a medical helicopter from Kalispell responded to the 911 call, which was placed at 8:09 p.m.

Paramedics continued CPR and used a defibrillator to revive the boy, while the other football players huddled on the sidelines and prayed, said Mike Richeson, a volunteer with Bigfork Fire Department.

The boy was breathing when he was loaded into the helicopter and taken to the Kalispell Regional Medical Center. At one point, he was in a medically induced coma, Richeson said.

Tuesday morning, the boy’s condition was listed as “serious but stable.” But by afternoon, it was “stable but critical,” hospital spokesman Jim Oliverson said.

The reason for his collapse has not been released, and Kinzer would not give details about the boy or his condition.

Monday was Bigfork’s first day of two-a-day practices. Kinzer said the boy was practicing even though he had not had a physical examination.

Montana High School Association guidelines require all students to have a physical certified by a physician, physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner prior to their first practice.

All of Bigfork’s football players were told that physicals were required before the first practice, Kinzer said.

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