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Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris shared an emotional reunion with a doctor and the young boy they helped save from drowning at a Las Vegas resort pool last month.
Morris, 46, was vacationing with his family at the Encore Hotel when a 3-year-old named Wyatt Stanley was suddenly pulled from the water.
‘I’m sitting down and my kids all scream, I see Wyatt laying poolside and he’s blue,’ Morris told ABC’s Good Morning America. ‘I just wanted to help, and I could just feel the panic of it all. And I looked to the lifeguard and I said, ‘Where is the AED machine?”
Morris knew about automated external defibrillators after he and his fellow Rams personnel underwent emergency training in the wake of Damar Hamlin’s on-field cardiac arrest back in January. The Buffalo Bills safety was resuscitated by team medical personnel, who administered CPR and AED, and Hamlin has spent the ensuing months raising awareness about this live-saving training.
It was that training that helped save Wyatt’s life.
Morris shared an emotional reunion with a doctor and the young boy on ABC’s GMA
Raheem Morris (left) and Dr. Andrew Oleksyn (right) are credited with saving Wyatt’s life
Wyatt’s long-term prognosis remains unclear, due to the amount of time he was under water
‘It’s truly a miracle when I try to wrap my mind around everything that happened,’ Wyatt’s mother, Kelseigh, told GMA.
She and her husband Joe described the terrifying moment their older child alerted them about Wyatt.
‘I was sitting in the chair, and my 7-year-old runs up to me and he says, ‘Wyatt, Wyatt, he’s under the water,” Joe Stanley said. ‘And I went and got him, there was no heartbeat, no pulse. When I picked him up, he was face down, nose to the pool. I realized he was limp.’
Andrew Oleksyn, an Illinois-based doctor, was also poolside and sprang into action.
‘I ran over and when I approached Wyatt, I knew, being an ER physician, that he was in trouble,’ Oleksyn said. ‘I immediately started doing chest compressions right away, assess the child, feel for a pulse. By that point, the child had no pulse.’
It was then that Morris returned with the AED device, which was located nearby. He quickly administered the AED in between Oleksyn’s compressions, and within moments, Wyatt’s pulse returned.
‘When he says, ‘He has a pulse,’ I started clapping,’ Morris said.
Wyatt, 3, is pictured with his father, Joe, and his mother, Kelseigh, in a GMA segment
Dr. Andrew Oleksyn is pictured holding 3-year-old Wyatt a month after the near-drowning
The pool at the Encore Las Vegas is pictured in 2014, when the venue hosted the Stanley Cup
Wyatt was rushed to the hospital soon after, and as seen in footage with Morris, appears to be doing improving, although long-term prognosis remains unclear.
‘It’s hard to say what exactly his future is going to be because he was under the water for so long,’ Kelseigh said.
The smiling 3-year-old did share a hug in the segment with the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach and Oleksyn, both of whom were referred to by Wyatt’s mother as a ‘miracle.’
‘I got emotional at that point because it’s like not only did you save Wyatt but you saved his family,’ Oleksyn said.
‘We are truly so happy that Raheem was there and Dr. Andrew was there,’ Kelseigh said. ‘God placed them all directly where they needed to be.’
Morris is among many NFL insiders to receive CPR/AED and first-aid training in the wake of Hamlin’s on-field cardiac arrest in Cincinnati.
Hamlin not only survived, but is planning to return to the NFL in 2023 after the cardiac arrest, which has been attributed to an episode of commotio cordis, resulting from a hit to the chest.
Morris helped to save the life of a drowning child at a Las Vegas resort pool last month, and now he’s crediting first-aid training in the wake of Damar Hamlin’s collapse
Well-wishers poured $10 million into online fundraising campaigns, which he donated to his charity, the Chasing M’s Foundation, which is partly focused on supporting CPR and AED training.
The NFL has also adopted the cause, with several teams holding training sessions to get employees CPR and AED certified.
In addition to Hamlin’s cardiac arrest, Morris previously told ESPN that the drowning death of Bucs linebacker Shaquil Barrett’s two-year-old daughter in April further helped to raise his awareness and preparedness. Morris, who is not directly quoted on the subject in the ESPN piece, left the Buccaneers in 2011, seven seasons before Barrett joined the team.
Arrayah Barrett is believed to have fallen into the family pool one April morning, resulting in the tragedy.