How emergencies similar to Damar Hamlin’s have unfolded on Colorado Springs football fields over the years |

How emergencies similar to Damar Hamlin’s have unfolded on Colorado Springs football fields over the years |

Colorado Springs is a city that is no stranger to athletic events that set parents’ hearts racing.

Damar Hamlin’s collapse against the Cincinnati Bengals was not only a sign of how dangerous football can be, but a flashback for some in the community who have dealt with the event head-on.

On October 6, 2006, Harrison’s Fermin Vialpando collapsed on the field at just 17 years old while running out for the Panthers’ homecoming game.

It was later discovered that he had a pre-existing heart condition and all the measures that the trainers usually implemented were in vain. He could not be revived.

Honoring Fermin Vialpando: The bond between soccer teammates lasts a lifetime and beyond

Most recently, on October 17, 2022, Liberty freshman Jordan O’Connell collapsed during a junior varsity game. He went into cardiac arrest and athletic trainers rushed into action.

His shirt and pads were cut off and CPR was performed on O’Connell before he was transported to a local hospital and diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – a disease that causes the heart muscle to thicken and make it harder for the body to pump blood.

Fountain-Fort Carson and Doherty football saw emergencies on the field last season.

Damar Hamlin-type emergency preparedness varies at high school level in Colorado Springs area

In a game against Pine Creek on Sept. 30, 2022, Fountain-Fort Carson senior Tai Faavae went head-to-head with Eagles junior Mason Miller on the far side before trying to get back into the game.

He collapsed at midfield and lay motionless as teammates waved to the school’s athletic training staff.

“We’ve seen it go down a few times, but when it didn’t come up, that’s when we knew it was different,” said Tai’s mother, Fran. “The moment one of his teammates was waving at a coach, I went into a state of panic.

“I told my husband to go into the press box and ask, and they immediately told us we had to go down to the field.”

He was later diagnosed with a neck strain and was able to avoid any lengthy hospital stays before later returning to play for the Trojans to finish his final season.

At Doherty, it was the homecoming game against Mountain Range on the same night.

An official collapsed during the game with a strong heart rhythm. After being cared for by athletic trainers and medical staff, he was taken to the hospital and later released.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *