Student honors heroes who saved his life - WNEM TV 5

Student honors heroes who saved his life

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Mervick Giles, No. 33 Mervick Giles, No. 33

On Tuesday, rescuers who saved a teen's life after he collapsed during basketball practice were honored for their heroic actions.

Maverick Giles received hugs from community members as they piled into the St. Louis City Council chambers.

"I knew that there was a lot of people that helped me and I just can't thank either one of them enough," Giles said.

The 16-year-old presented the four heroes who saved his life with a life saving award.

"Most people take, not all, but take every day for granted. But now, after you realized what's happened and everything that's been done, it's just crazy," Giles said.

Giles was at basketball practice when he collapsed on Dec. 9.

"I knew he needed help and there were signs that I recognized, that I knew I had t to take action immediately," said Dan Nealy, varsity basketball coach.

Nealy started CPR when he determined Giles didn't have a pulse. It was the first of a series of events that all played a role in keeping Giles alive.

"Really, the thing starting everything out right was Coach Nealy knowing CPR and using it when he had to," said Dick Prestage, St. Louis firefighter.

Prestage was the second on scene after receiving a call from his son. He helped with CPR. Moments later police arrived.

St. Louis Police Officer Sarah Chamberlain, who is also a substitute teacher, knew Giles.

"When I realized who it was, I still have a job to do, but it was definitely more intense trying to help him and doing the best that I could," Chamberlain said.

As they continued CPR, Officer Matt VanHall pulled the AED from his police cruiser.

"Mentally I had prepared to deal with an adult. And when you get there and see a child, you know I have a child of my own, it hits close to home," VanHall said.

The shock from the AED restored Giles' pulse.

Maverick said he is grateful for the right people being there at the right time. He hopes others will realize the importance of knowing CPR.

"It's like so important just to know it. And just to have AED's present everywhere because you just never know," Giles said.

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