Sixteen-year-old Jarrell Brazzle can't remember anything about what happened the morning of Aug. 13 when he collapsed on a football practice field. All he recalls is being unconscious, seeing a blinding light and moving toward it feeling light as a feather.
August 22, 2002 - Reported in the [DowningtownLedger.com] - Coatesville, PA. Sixteen-year-old Jarrell Brazzle can't remember anything about what happened the morning of Aug. 13 when he collapsed on a football practice field at Coatesville Area Senior High School.
The only thing Brazzle, who is a member of the Coatesville Area Senior High School football team, knows is what friends told him afterward. "From what everybody told me, I was standing there and then I collapsed," he said in an interview last Thursday morning. "They then started hosing me down with water and put ice on me. I stopped breathing and I was given mouth-to-mouth [resuscitation]. I went out again, and they brought me back again."
From there, an ambulance transported Brazzle to Brandywine Hospital, where he woke up. Asked if he remembered anything else, he said while he was unconscious, he saw a blinding light. "I was moving toward it and felt like a feather," he said. He said he didn't know who had performed CPR on him. However, the Coatesville Ledger has learned that it was Coatesville Area School District Police Officer Dan McKeown, who administered CPR on Brazzle, saving his life.
Bill Whitman, chief of police with the district police and director of public safety, said that Brazzle was introduced to McKeown on Thursday. The report that McKeown handed in, said Whitman, indicated that McKeown administered CPR twice after Brazzle stopped breathing. McKeown was on vacation beginning Friday and, therefore, was unavailable for comment. "I told him thanks and gave him a hug and a handshake," said Brazzle Friday afternoon.
Also instrumental in saving Brazzle's life were Coatesville Area Senior High School athletic trainers Becky Layfield and Steve Vietri, both of whom responded when Brazzle collapsed. "They did a wonderful job," said Whitman. "The training staff worked like clockwork. "For her part, Layfield said, "We kept him cool and maintained his vital signs.
The reason Brazzle collapsed is still unknown. Initially it was believed he might have collapsed because of the heat. "Originally, we thought it was the heat, but apparently that had nothing to do with it," said Coatesville Area Senior High School head football coach Anthony Mallozzi. However, as a result of Tuesday's incidents, practices were moved up an half hour and shortened. Mallozzi credited both the district police and the trainers for being there for Brazzle when they were needed. "Between the police and the athletic trainers, who knows what would have happened if they weren't there," said Mallozzi. "I see us as a team as very fortunate to have trainers and police officers that we do."
Brazzle said doctors as of Thursday believed it was his heart. For that reason, he was put on a heart monitor after leaving the hospital Wednesday afternoon.Brazzle said he had allergies and a cold before, and that when he was a at the hospital, he was diagnosed with asthma -- which he says he didn't know he had.
Brazzle said he believes he was lucky. "If I didn't believe in Christ, it would have been a worse experience," he said. He said because of what happened, seeing the light as he did, he knows he is going to heaven when he dies. "I'll never have doubt in my life about it again," he said.