BUNKIE, La. (KALB) – Emergency medical technicians who were off duty came to the aid of a Bunkie High School football player who experienced a medical emergency after the Avoyelles Parish Jamboree on August 25. Bunkie starting quarterback Dillon Compton suffered from heat exhaustion after playing in the jamboree.
“We were actually headed towards the gate about to leave because everything was over,” said Dexter Compton, Dillon’s father. “One of the students said, ‘Something is wrong with Dillon.’”
After the jamboree last Friday, the Bunkie Panthers headed to the endzone to discuss the games they played. Compton was walking to the endzone after playing tough toward the end of the game.
“He had an 80-yard touchdown run that got called back, and he was going at a really high tempo that whole time,” said Bunkie head coach Jimmie Hillman.
As the team walked to the endzone, Compton started to move slower than his teammates, eventually needing medical help after a heat-related illness.
“Next thing you know, we’re taking his pads off of him, and he’s breathing, everything was fine,” said Hillman. “He’s just kind of having trouble speaking. [We] sat him down and then we laid him down and started treating him for what we figured was heat exhaustion and a little bit of dehydration, stuff like that.”
That’s when off-duty EMT workers Chris Fitzgerald, Beau Milligan and Darren Casio went instantly to aid the 16-year-old, along with the paramedics, by bringing fluids and an IV to keep him stable.
“My partner said that he asked, ‘what was going on?’,” said Fitzgerald. “He said it looked like a kid down and a bunch of people were standing around, so we walked up. He brought a bag, he’s a paramedic, and brings it everywhere he goes. So, he brought a bag, and we got there and realized he was down and needed some treatment.”
Compton was rushed to the hospital, where he underwent tests and saw a doctor, thanks to those EMT workers getting to Dillon right away.
“The fact that those guys were able to come over and start working on him immediately, I think made all the difference for that,” said Hillman. “Not only for his life but for his aspirations as a football player.”
“Just thankful to God and to those who responded the way they did,” said Dexter. “Just using their gift and their expertise to serve, and I’m just grateful.”
Almost a week after the emergency, Fitzgerald would do it all again for Dillon if he needed it.
“I’ve been doing this for 32 years,” Fitzgerald said. “It was just second nature. I would hope that if my kid was down, someone would do the same.”
Dillon’s family said he is doing great and will be back in action tomorrow, August 31, as Bunkie takes on Catholic of Pointe Coupee.
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