Athletic trainer, defibrillator saves man at baseball game

(Photo: WKRN)

WHITE HOUSE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A day at the ball park nearly turned to tragedy – if not for a quick thinking athletic trainer and a life saving device.

It was a box on the wall that tends to blend in – to which Thomas Hobson owes his life.

(Photo: WKRN)

“Yeah I’m feeling good today,” said Hobson, relaxing outside his home. “Last few days, I’ve been feeling pretty good.”

One night last month, while catching his grandson’s baseball game at White House Heritage High School, Thomas took a dive.

“My head started spinning real fast,” he explained. “I looked down, looked like the sidewalk was coming up to me, but I was falling, that’s the last thing I knew.”

Thomas came to on a stretcher, being whisked away to a nearby hospital.

Officials explained he just suffered a heart attack. Hobson was still alive thanks to a nearby defibrillator, and a fully prepared athletic trainer.

Andrea Gowan is a trainer with Heritage High. She and Hobson met for the first time since the incident Friday afternoon.

“I got a call from a parent, and then I heard them call for me over the PA system,” said Gowan. “I ran from soccer, down to baseball.”

She soon spotted a collapsed Hobson, a crowd of people, and a defibrillator ready to go.

(Photo: WKRN)

“Hooked the AED up, cleared everybody back,” said Gowan. “It delivered one shock, and we restarted CPR, and luckily after that first set of CPR he actually came back.”

Andrea had been properly defibrillator trained, but most of the devices are made to be used by all, with clearly marked instructions, or even voice commands.

“So having them available for people to use, to help save people, it makes a huge difference,” said Gowan.

“I’m glad you were there,” added Hobson. “Yeah I’m glad you were there, ‘cause if you hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Hobson now has a pace maker. He’s taking it easy at his doctor’s request, but says he’ll be back out watching baseball in no time.

Anyone interested in CPR, or defibrillator training, can visit the American Red Cross, or the American Heart Association.