Post Letter: OU cheerleader’s heroism reflects compassion

On Saturday, while your football team was in New Jersey playing Rutgers University, a fan in the stands suffered a heart attack. With the game ongoing and the bulk of fans’ eyes riveted to the action, this individual’s condition went unnoticed by those around him. One of your cheerleaders saw the event unfolding and leapt a 10-foot fence, came into the stands and began to assist this individual.

Within moments, professional emergency-medical personnel and police were at the victim’s side rendering aid, using a defibrillator and administering CPR. Your cheerleader returned to the field, but anyone in the lower section of the stands could see the concern in his eyes as an area was cleared so EMS could attempt to resuscitate the victim, uninhibited. I was 30 feet away and didn’t notice anything at first. I spent 20 years battling fires in New York, and I’ve been in many a nasty situation. I wasn’t a civilian — it was part of my job. Your student athlete was heroic and selfless and should be commended for his actions.

I’m fairly sure this same student is on a bus or a plane right now wondering whether the victim survived. From experience, it didn’t look like a good outcome.

I don’t know the student’s name — no one in my section of the stands did — but you should. You should learn this cheerleader’s name, and you should nurture him along.

He deserves a “pat on the back” when he arrives home. We gave this young man a hand for his efforts, but very few in the stadium witnessed his actions.

When someone that young runs toward trouble rather than away, it says a lot about his upbringing, his compassion for a fellow man, the education he has and is receiving and his future potential.

In the fire station, all the young recruits are called “Kid.” Hell of a good job today, Kid.

Jim Murphy is a former Manhattan firefighter.

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