MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – American Heritage School’s head athletic trainer said he wants the public to know that helping to save the life of a player who suffered a cardiac arrest during a football game was a team effort that required training and preparation.
Frank Millan, the head athletic trainer, said the American Heritage School’s dream team also included Nicholle-Christine Galletti, an assistant athletic trainer; paramedics Bobby Curtis and Alex Arias; and Javier Ditas, a physician assistant.
“We did a lot of these scenarios and you prepare for the worst and you hope for the best and when that worst does show up — you are ready,” Millan said about helping to save Timothy “Tim” Burroughs-Love’s life on Friday night.
Danisha Rolle said her 17-year-old godson was on the sideline when he suffered a seizure during the first quarter of a preseason game against Booker T. Washington Senior High School at Miami Dade College’s Traz Powell Stadium.
Rolle said the team’s effort had “made all of the difference ... administering CPR immediately when they saw him go down and noticed he wasn’t breathing. The time it took for them to get his clothes cut off of him, the pads cut off of him, and then the AED machine to shock him.”
The training staff from Booker T. Washington Senior High School also stepped in. Millan said the number one cause of death in young athletes is sudden cardiac arrest, so having an AED machine is important.
“Being able to assess what’s going on, how quickly and determining that care can actually decide an outcome and save a life,” Millan said.
Rolle said she sensed there was also divine intervention while she and Timothy’s mother missed the game to go to the Beyoncé concert.
“I’ll say that God had a hand because when I got into the stadium my phone wasn’t making calls going out. I guess because of the number of people that were there. And I got a text from my son that something had happened to Tim,” Rolle said.
The two women left the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens so fast and rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital so quickly that they arrived right after the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue ambulance was parked and paramedics were wheeling him out with the gurney.
Millan said he and his team love Timothy, feel grateful to have been able to do their jobs to the best of their ability, and that Timothy had a great outcome.
“The nurses and the staff have said that it’s literally outstanding that he has been able to respond the way that he is: Laughing and talking and cognitively there,” Rolle said adding, “Now we are just trying to figure out why that happened, what was the cause, what’s the likelihood that it will happen again and what do we need to do from here.”
With offers from Yale to Dartmouth, the defensive tackle is waiting to find out if he will be able to play football again at the school in Plantation, but Rolle is convinced that God has a plan, and said, “The blessing in it all is that he’s here.”
Local 10 News Digital Journalist Andrea Torres contributed to this report.