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Little League Player, 6, Goes into Cardiac Arrest After Being Hit by a Baseball — and Mom’s CPR Saves His Life

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Little League Player, 6, Goes into Cardiac Arrest After Being Hit by a Baseball — and Mom's CPR Saves His Life

 

Oscar Stuebe was hit in the chest by a fly ball, but his mom “went into nurse mode” and saved his life

 

 

Oscar Stuebe was watching his older brother, 7, play a double header on March 10, when his brother’s Little League team asked him to step in and help.

The 6-year–old from Florida, who’s learning to play on a Little League Coach Pitch team, took centerfield for both games.

But during the second game, the opposing team hit “a very unspectacular pop fly in centerfield that we’ve seen in the backyard hundreds of times,” his father Riley told Today.

“It wasn’t a hard drive. It wasn’t a direct hit to his chest,” he continued. “It was just a glancing blow.”

“It looked like he caught it and it dropped,” his mother Sarah told Today. “And then, he fell. To the ground.”

His father ran to his son on the field.

“I’ve seen trauma, and this was certainly in line with all of that,” said the retired Marine Corps officer. “We couldn’t find a pulse.”

“Everything was stiff. His fingers were stiff, his hands were stiff, his arms were stiff. You could tell he was not in control of his body.”

Riley called for Sarah, a nurse, who told Today, “I’ll never forget that. It was just the way he said [my name].”

Sarah ran onto the field, where she said Oscar was having a seizure.

“He went lifeless. His eyes were rolling in the back of his head. He turned grey. He started gasping,” she told Today.

So Sarah began doing CPR.

“A minute and a half into CPR, I kind of looked at his face. And I was like, ‘This is my baby.’ Like, it shouldn’t be happening at a baseball game for a 6 and 7-year-old.”

The baseball field was next door to West Palm Fire Station 2, so first responders were on the scene quickly and rushed the second grader to St. Mary’s Medical Center, where he was intubated and put on a ventilator.

“We had to be positive. We prayed a lot,” Sarah told Today, saying he was “very delirious.”

“Sleep ended up being the best medicine,” Sarah says. “He woke up and we finally had Oscar back. He kind of rubbed his eyes and was like, ‘Hi, Mom.’”

“It was a miracle.”

Now, the Stuebe family is spreading the word about the risk of commotio cordis, which is what caused Oscar’s health scare — and famously resulted in NFL star Damar Hamlin going into cardiac arrest after being tackled.

It’s “a condition in which an abnormal heart rhythm and cardiac arrest happen immediately upon an object (usually something small and hard like a baseball or hockey puck) striking the chest directly over the heart at a very critical time during a heartbeat,” the Cleveland Clinic explains, adding that it’s extremely rare, with less than 30 cases a year.

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