ROCKY POINT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A teenager on Long Island is recovering after being hit with a baseball in the chest and collapsing, all thanks to a Suffolk County police sergeant.
The 15-year-old boy was practicing pitching in the cages when he was hit by a line drive around 6 p.m. Saturday, CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported.
“He was just pitching to a batter, the ball struck the bat and hit directly back at him, and it appeared to hit him in the right upper chest,” said Sean Callahan, a coach at the complex.
Callahan said the boy immediately collapsed.
Coach John Cerato, who is also a Suffolk County police sergeant, saw the commotion and ran in the opposite direction, into the concession’s building to grab an automated external defibrillator, Castro reported.
“I went inside and put the pads on him, turned the machine on and just listened to the prompts,” Cerato said. “The machines are pretty simple to operate.”
The AED first called for CPR, then it called for a shock to the boy’s chest.
“So we cleared the area and administered the shock and soon thereafter, he came to,” Cerato said.
The teenager was alert when he was taken to the hospital. North Shore Little League President Gary Catalanotto said he was in good condition.
“I think it’s amazing,” Catalanotto said. “I think it was a heroic miracle that took place here yesterday.”
The Rocky Point Fire Department had donated the AED to the Little League in 2001. The league said they’ve never had to use it until now.
“We’re just very fortunate and happy and thank God it worked yesterday when we needed it,” said Catalanotto.
And even though Cerato was the one who put the AED to use said he’s far from a hero.
“I get the accolades, but I just happened to be there,” Cerato said.
“We’re just glad that the young man is doing better and we’re hoping he gets homes as soon as possible,” Callahan added.
The teen is expecting to spend at least one more night at the hospital for observation.
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