iPhone app helps save high school b-ball star's life

A California basketball coach downloaded the $1.99 iPhone app Phone Aid to brush up on CPR last week, only to use it the very next day when a student collapsed and his heart stopped beating during practice.

On a whim last week, head high school basketball coach Eric Cooper Sr. downloaded a $1.99 iPhone app called Phone Aid to brush up on his CPR skills. His timing couldn't have been better.

Star center Xavier Jones has been diagnosed with a heart condition that will prevent him from playing much basketball in his future. LeagueLineup.com

During team practice the very next day at La Verne Lutheran High School in California, 17-year-old star center Xavier Jones stumbled while trying to receive a pass and collapsed on the court, his heart having stopped, reports the Los Angeles Times.

With CPR tips from his new mobile app fresh in his mind, Coach Cooper, with the help of Assistant Coach John Osorno, was able to revive Jones and keep his heart beating until paramedics arrived. When Jones came to in the hospital the next day, he said he had no memory of the collapse.

Doctors have diagnosed 6-foot-8-inch Jones, whom teammates call "X," with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart muscle myocardium thickens, making it harder for the heart to pump blood. He's been told he'll have to get a defibrillator implanted in his chest.

Fortunately, Jones already had plans outside of basketball. With a 4.0 GPA, he'd had his heart set on West Point. "I'd ask him, 'Are you going to be an NBA player?' and he would say, 'No, I'm going to be a doctor,'" Cooper told the Times. "The decision was going to be based on his career, not just basketball."

Cooper said that, as coaches, they are required to be up-to-date on CPR, and that the iPhone app acted as a refresher course.

Phone Aid offers real-time CPR instructions for babies, small children, and adults, as well as choking information, American guidelines, European guidelines, and a 911 speed dial. The current 2.0 version has been available for two years and costs $1.99. It is available for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.

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About the author

Elizabeth Armstrong Moore is based in Portland, Oregon, and has written for Wired, The Christian Science Monitor, and public radio. Her semi-obscure hobbies include climbing, billiards, board games that take up a lot of space, and piano.

 

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