MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. - A St. Thomas Academy football player continues to recover after he collapsed following a practice on Friday.
That player was not at practice Monday, but football players at St. Thomas Academy are lucky to still have him among them.
It turns out, the school in Mendota Heights did a lot of things right to prepare for just such an emergency.
The trainer had an automated external defibrillator (AED) and one of the assistant football coaches is a physician.
"They got him hooked up to the AED, followed the instructions," said Activities and Athletics Director and assistant football coach Jason Sedlak, who was at Friday's practice,
The athlete's family wants to keep his identity private but Sedlak said his condition has improved.
"He's awake in the hospital, talking with his family. He's had visitors and friends and is certainly showing us he's a 15-year-old. The first thing he asked for was, 'Where's my cell phone?'" said Sedlak.
"We're so grateful that our young man is going to be able to recover fully," said Headmaster Matthew Mohs. He is glad St. Thomas Academy was prepared, and says both he and Sedlak want schools to know there's always room for improvement.
More people can be trained, more scenarios practiced and AED's need to be maintained.
St. Thomas Academy does have six AEDs on school grounds, but now they're looking to get even more.
Knowing how to direct first responders to a student quickly is also key.
"The difference of a couple of minutes really is the difference between life and death," said Mohs.
School officials said an unnamed organization has offered CPR classes so more staff and students can be trained.