TULSA, Okla., Aug. 24, 2023 — Nearly one year ago, Cascia Hall Preparatory School football player Collin Cottom collapsed on the field during a game with Victory Christian School due to sudden cardiac arrest and received chest compressions from Cascia Hall parents.

“An AED brought to the game by Cascia Hall and an Ambu bag brought by Victory Christian’s honorary captain were also used to keep him alive,” said Cottom’s mother, Karissa Cottom.

When the Cascia Hall Commandos take the field against the Victory Christian Conquerors for a home game at 8 p.m. Friday (Aug. 25), Cottom will be attending as a team member and heart patient. During pregame activities, the Cottom family – including Collin’s mom Karissa and dad Darren – will present representatives from Victory with a CPR in Schools™ First Aid Kit and a CPR in Schools First Aid in Youth Sports™ Training Kit.

The family will be accompanied by Michael Elder, executive director of JP Morgan Chase and chairman of the American Heart Association-Tulsa board, along with Richard McCutcheon, senior development director for the American Heart Association-Tulsa.

“It really means a lot for me and my family to have the opportunity to give thanks to all of those who have supported us in this past year and work with the American Heart Association to spread awareness on sudden cardiac arrest and CPR training,” Collin Cottom said earlier this week.

“We are honored to have partnered with Collin and the Cottom family to be able to amplify his story and help him bring awareness to the importance of CPR,” said McCutchen.

Collin was diagnosed with Brugada Syndrome, a rare but serious condition that affects the way electrical signals pass through the heart. He now has an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), a small battery-powered device placed in the chest that detects and stops irregular heartbeats, also called arrhythmias. An ICD delivers electric shocks, when needed, to restore a regular heart rhythm.

Collin, now a senior, can no longer play football, but he’s every bit part of the team.

“Collin participated in summer workouts, which I think served as a good example for his teammates,” said Karissa Cottom. “He can’t play, but he showed up and worked hard every day.”

Each year, more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) occur in the United States and fewer than half of these people receive the immediate help they need before professional help arrives. The American Heart Association is working to increase the number of bystanders who use CPR in an emergency.

The American Heart Association is challenging everyone to join the Nation of Lifesavers and make CPR and AED education a part of communities across the country. The project is to ensure that in the face of a cardiac emergency anyone, anywhere is prepared and empowered to perform CPR and become a vital link in the chain of survival. Anyone can learn hands-only CPR in about 90 seconds.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

Media inquiries:

Cyd King: M 479.263.8473; cyd.king@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

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