A soccer star in Connecticut graduated on Thursday, June 19. He received his diploma two days late, Marlon Terrones didn’t care. He felt lucky just to be alive.
As reported by the Hartford Courant, Terrones, the graduating star of the Hall High soccer team in West Hartford, nearly died while on a training run with his brother earlier in June. Just shy of the two mile mark while jogging at Kingswood Oxford school Terrones collapsed, and it was only the quick thinking of his brother and intervention of Kingswood Oxford volleyball coach Scott McDonald who kept him alive; McDonald was particularly heroic, performing CPR for more than six minutes until an ambulance could arrive on the scene.
Terrones had suffered from a sudden cardiac event, and doctors later determined that his heart had temporarily stopped beating. His organs were saved by the quick use of advanced medical techniques including the injection of chilled fluid over a 36-hour period in which the teen was essentially kept in a medically induced coma.
When he woke up Terrones was quick to ask about a return to soccer. That’s not happening anytime soon, but an emergency surgery to install a defibrilator was successful, stabilizing Terrones and making it possible for him to officially graduate two days after he was scheduled. The school made the event special nonetheless, with principal Dan Zittoun and counselor Stephen Boyle making an appearance in Terrones’ hospital room to present him with his diplioma … all in cap and gown, of course.
The impromptu commencement was a fitting capstone to a fine high school career both on and off the pitch. Terrones is just happy that it’s still only the first chapter of his future.
“I’m lucky I’m still alive. I’m thankful,” Terrones told the Courant. “If it wasn’t for [McDonald], I’d be dead right now. … I’m going to appreciate the things in life more,”