A Johnston baseball player lost consciousness and required emergency services and resuscitation at the field during a home doubleheader Monday.
Senior first baseman Matt Shaver was outside the dugout during the second game against Marshalltown when he suddenly lost consciousness. Shaver was hospitalized and was in a critical care unit as of Tuesday morning, where he was expected to stay until at least Wednesday night. .
“It really came out of nowhere,” said Johnston head coach Michael Barta.
“He’s a healthy kid, never any problems. I think that’s why it’s even more shocking, and it’s why his parents and the Johnston community are hoping to get answers. They’re going to find out more in the next 48 hours about his recovery and what actually happened, because we still don’t know much.”
Barta says Shaver had just exited the game and was visiting the team’s athletic trainer for an ankle issue when he passed out.
The trainer and a fan administered CPR while an assistant coach retrieved a defibrillator before an ambulance arrived. Johnston administrator Brent Riessen said the automated external defibrillator shocked Shaver twice.
The game was suspended in the bottom of the third inning with the third-ranked Dragons leading Marshalltown 12-2 during the Senior Night doubleheader.
“It happened while we were hitting and none of the kids really knew what was going on,” Barta said.
Barta said Shaver was not breathing for two to three minutes, “which really seemed like an eternity to a lot of us, but we were lucky that we had people around to help.”
“The paramedics were there within about a two and a half minutes of the call, which is another fortunate thing.”
Shaver was responsive late Monday night when his teammates and supporters remained at Iowa Methodist Medical Center for updates on his condition. He’ll remain under observation as doctors attempt to determine the cause of his medical emergency.
“It’s in the process of monitoring and evaluating,” Riessen said. “They’re not looking for much out of him in terms of responsiveness and talking yet, just watching his vitals and they’ll slowly bring him back to a normal body temperature. His family is expecting to have more information late in the day (Wednesday).”
The 18-year-old graduated in May.
“When we left last night, we were feeling a little more positive about it, because he had a heartbeat and was able to breathe on his own when he left the field,” Barta said.
“Even though the kids were worn out emotionally, that was something positive to hold on to. We’re just going to keep praying.”
Limited updates from his family are being posted on the Facebook group page, “Prayers for Matt Shaver.”