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Basketball player’s life saved by coach’s CPR

E.J. Galloway and Dr. Charles Gaymes at E.J.'s 2016 graduation.Graduation
E.J. Galloway & Dr. Charles Gaymes
E.J. Galloway had just been going up for a rebound in a summer league basketball game against Morton played at Jim Hill High in 2014. Suddenly feeling fatigued, E.J. was called to the bench by his coach.

Minutes later, E.J. fell unconscious, and Coach Willie Swinney began performing CPR on him to keep him alive.

“It took 10 minutes for an ambulance to arrive, so several people were taking turns doing CPR on me,” he said.

Once an ambulance arrived, emergency responders used an AED on E.J. to restore his heartbeat. He was taken to the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the Children’s Heart Center for care.

Galloway’s mom, Ollie, remembered what the doctors told her at the hospital.

“It sticks in my mind, and I play it over and over again — whoever did CPR on your son, they saved his life,” she said in a report published in The Clarion-Ledger.

“(Swinney) knew what signs to look for,” she said. “So that was just a blessing for him to be on alert. ... We’re just so thankful, so thankful.”

Swinney and others who helped perform CPR to save the life of the Provine sophomore were honored by City of Jackson leaders.

Today, E.J. has a tattoo on his wrist that reads June 2, 2014, the date his life was saved. He began taking heart medication and had a defibrillator implanted after that fateful basketball game.

Now a senior business administration major at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, E.J. hopes to play basketball professionally after graduation in May.

“That’s possible because Coach Swinney and others had CPR training and I was defibrillated with an AED as soon as possible,” he said. “Schools having AEDs and the training to use them will save lives, so I support my cardiologist, Dr. Charles Gaymes, and Project ADAM.”