MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minnesota man is recovering after he suffered a heart attack while coaching baseball on Father’s Day.
Bob Meredith says his survival story proves things happen for a reason.
“I got four kids — two in college, two in high school. I’ve got a lot of life to live yet,” said Meredith as he looked out onto Sutton Field in Golden Valley. “I’m glad to be alive. I’m hilariously happy to be alive.”
Meredith had just got done with batting practice, before his team, the Armstrong-Cooper Blue Baseball Team, started playing a double-header that Sunday afternoon in June. He walked over to his team’s dugout and collapsed.
“Then everything went blank,” he said. “From the time I reached the dug-out, and threw the bag in, I don’t remember anything! Nothing at all!”
Meredith says the credit for his survival goes to the people who were with him at the right time. One of Meredith’s players — Zach Pierson — was warming up in the field, when he heard a scream.
“I heard help,” recalled Pierson. “I walked over, looked in the dugout and started running.”
The 17-year-old Pierson (who Meredith described as an outstanding player and catcher) was well-prepared for a medical emergency. A Boy Scout who knows first aid and CPR, he’s close to becoming an Eagle Scout.
“My dad was on the phone with 911, and he said, ‘Zach! Start CPR now,’” Pierson said. “I started the compressions, checked his pulse again, did more compressions. We were all nervous in there, working on him, hearts beating fast. Our adrenaline’s rushing and we’re trying to help Bob out.”
Golden Valley Police showed up with an automatic defibrillator, and Pierson and his father used it on Meredith. Paramedics rushed him to North Memorial Medical Center where he stayed for six days.
“I thank God that he was there,” said Meredith. “I’d be six feet under right now if it hadn’t been for him. I’m so very thankful Zach was there.”
Meredith plans to spend more time with his family and more time at the field coaching as soon as he recovers.
For now, he’s stuck on the sidelines watching his team, but he’ll never forget the young player who became his humble hero.