By Thomas Haak ’23
Several weeks ago, Jason Person ’24 suffered a cardiac injury while practicing basketball with the JV team.
Mrs. Renee Oldani was one of the initial people to help tend to Person. She rushed over and started to perform CPR and chest compressions. She helped tend to Person with Coach John Burns, the head coach of the JV basketball team, as they called for 911 and for Mr. Chris White.
“I was in the fitness area in the Dutch and I was between working out and doing some work when I heard Coach Burns yell out for help. I went around the corner and that’s when I saw that Jason was on the ground with Coach Burns,” Mrs. Oldani said.
Person was treated by paramedics minutes after the collapse and he was then taken into open-heart surgery. Person is set to make a full recovery after a successful surgery.
He is now back on campus and is conforming back to everyday life. He is now the manager of the JV basketball team as he is not allowed to play. “I was on the freshman team last year, and I was on JV this year, but I am now the manager while I recover,” said Person.
“I was away from school for a little bit so I have been catching up on work, I won’t be able to do anything athletically for five to six more months,” Person said.
While he is working to get back into sports, he is not doing any physical therapy, but is rather performing lighter exercises such as walking. He will have to perform regular checkups with his doctors several times a year.
“I haven’t been doing any specific physical therapy, I have really just been going on walks with my mom and I really have to just let my chest heal. I will have to go to checkups every 3 months and I went to my first one two weeks ago.” It will then transfer into yearly,” said Person.
There are no long-term health effects for Person, he said that the only long-term effect will be the scar on his chest. Person has to use a rollie backpack for now because if he were to use a normal backpack it would rip his chest open.
In light of the situation, Mrs. Oldani believes it is crucial for students to be able to understand what to do if this happened to their friend and there was no adult there.
“It would be ideal for every student to know how to do CPR, know your whereabouts, so when you call 911 you have an idea, so those are the things that I think are very important,” Mrs. Oldani highlighted.
Mrs. Oldani continued: “If Jason or any of us were somewhere else, like God forbid if he was at the park, this would be a whole different situation. If he was in the back seat of the car and he collapses, what do you do then?”