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Former men's soccer player, athletic trainer saves life at HS football scrimmage

Staff Reports • Aug 8, 2018 at 3:52 PM

Former Cumberland University men’s soccer player and athletic trainer Alex West saved the life of a Houston County football player during a scrimmage at Jo Byrns High School on Friday, as told to WSMV-TV4 in Nashville.

West was a four-year soccer letterwinner for the Phoenix who graduated in May with his degree in athletic training. He is the head athletic trainer at Jo Byrns in Cedar Hill, where Friday’s scrimmage took place.

When Houston County player Jefferey Cox went down, West sprung into action.

"You could see the kid was really struggling," West told the TV station. "He couldn't breathe. I felt for a pulse, and he didn't have a pulse. I yelled for people to call 9-1-1. I started CPR. We got the helmet off him as I stabilized his head. That way I could check his airway."

In the meantime, parents came down to the field to help while an ambulance was called.

"To be honest, I was scared myself," he said. "I was terrified. We just kept going with CPR, the breaths and the compressions for 15 minutes until Springfield EMS arrived."

Cox was taken to Vanderbilt Medical Center. His mother, Alicia Parker, told Channel 4 in a statement:

"We all know what God can do, and that is where our trust lies. I thank God for Jo Byrns athletic trainer Alex West who performed chest compressions for a long time on the field while waiting on the ambulance. [Jefferey] has 100 percent brain function because of him. We are very hopeful and know he will pull out of this because God is on his side. We are so thankful for all the prayers and support. So many communities have been amazing to us. We could not get through this if it weren't for so many people. Now, with all that said, I really want policies to change. Every team should have a medical trainer and an ambulance should have to be at every game, even just scrimmages."

"I get a little emotional about it, really," said West. "I guess you're not fully prepared until you're in it. I guess the training just took over. To Jefferey, we're all wishing the best for you. It's going to be a long road still. We've all been praying for him nonstop, and we're hoping for the best."

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