Athletic trainers honored for their part in saving Urbana wrestler’s life

Two athletic trainers are receiving recognition their part in helping save a the life of a college wrestler from Mechanicsburg High School.

Kelley Hockenberger and Chelsey Meyers, two athletic trainers at Ohio University, have received the Lifesaver Certificate of Recognition from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. The pair gave life-saving aid to Austin Reese, originally from Urbana, after he went into cardiac arrest while competing in a wrestling match at the university in February.

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According to a news release, Reese said he barely remembered anything from the medical event, stating he only recalled adjusting his headgear before “everything went white.”

Meyers said when Reese returned to the center of the ring and suddenly collapsed after engaging with his opponent, she felt the immedate need to assist him.

“I just remember Austin basically fell over the kid and from there my instinct was just to run out to him,” she said in the release. “My adrenaline was pumping at that point because I knew something wasn’t right.”

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Meyers began administering first aid, but Reese soon stopped breathing and his heart stopped. Hockenberger, who came to assist, reportedly began applying chest compressions while Meyers retreived an automated external defibrillator. After getting his heart beating again, paramedics arrived on scene and were able to stabilize Reese. He has since made a full recovery.

Hockenberger said she feels lucky Reese survived the ordeal.

“I’m thankful that my training, education and experience helped lead to a positive outcome, but I am realistic enough to realize that we are lucky this turned out the way it did,” she said.

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Meyers said she is humbled by the recognition from NATA.

“I’m just thankful that Austin is okay,” she said. “He was my No. 1 priority that day.”

Correction: A previous version of this article referred to misidentified Hockenberger and Meyers as students and referred to them as “sports trainers.”

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