Heroes of the Week: A Water Polo Coach and a Doctor

Throughout the week, our ACC Team searches through emails and news articles looking for someone who deserves to be the Hero of the Week… Find out how you can nominate a Hero of the Week at the bottom of the page.

This week, we’re sharing a story on the importance of knowing CPR.

California native Ben Blankenhorn is your everyday high school athlete. He was on the track running drills with his teammates when he collapsed. A water polo coach, who was nearby, started CPR on the 17-year-old. A doctor, who happened to be running on the track that day, also came to Ben’s aid. They provided emergency medical services until paramedics arrived.

When Ben woke up at UCLA Medical Center, he was being treated by a pediatric cardiologist. He didn’t remember much from when he collapsed. After a few more close calls, the doctors figured out the cause and inserted a digital defibrillator into his chest.

Once they fixed his medical issue, Ben was cleared to go back to basketball where his team went on to win the championship, the first in the school’s history!

After his ordeal, Ben was inspired to learn CPR. After what he had been through, he realizes the importance of knowing how to save a life.

Learn more about this story as profiled in the “Stories From the Heart” series from the American Heart Association.

Kix’s Response:

Wow, how about that story?! And, Ben’s such a young guy, too – just 17!

We’re sending out a big thank you to the coach and the doctor that were there when Ben went down – two heroes saved Ben’s life that day! We’re happy to recognize you as our ACC Heroes!

Nominate a Hero of the Week

Now, we want to know who has made a difference in your life. Nominate a local firefighter, police officer, EMT or someone who is serving our country in the military. It could even be a neighbor, family member or friend who lent a crucial helping hand. Let us know all about the person who you feel is a real life hero by emailing us here and please feel free to send us a picture!

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