LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) – Xavier Ramirez is getting ready for a big night in Slaton.
As Texas high school football returns, Xavier is coming back to the field where he had to fight for his own survival.
“I started feeling chest pain,” Ramirez said. “It was hard to breathe. I thought my pads might have gotten tight or something.”
But the truth was far more dangerous. The lights went dark for him as he stood on the field.
“My mom came down, tried to check on me,” Ramirez said. “I look up. I look back down, and I just pass out.”
Ramirez’s heart stopped. Medical personnel worked to revive the teenager for nearly 30 minutes.
“They put the pads on me, and they shocked me and then the ambulance finally got there,” Ramirez said.
Miraculously Ramirez survived.
That ambulance brought Ramirez to Covenant Children’s where he was put into a medically-induced coma for three days and diagnosed with a rare heart condition.
“It’s called anomalous aortic coronary of the left origin,” Ramirez said. “It was basically a ticking time bomb. It was just waiting to happen.”
the condition restricts blood flow to the heart through one of the coronary arteries. Ramirez was flown to Houston where he underwent successful heart surgery.
With a fighter’s mentality, and encouragement from Slaton’s 12th man, Ramirez recovered and eventually played again.
It was that event that inspired him to become an EMT.
Now he’s come full circle, returning to Blake J. Boyd Memorial Stadium where he’ll keep a watchful eye on the players with the person who helped save his life.
“I can’t imagine what it would be like without him,” Shelly Parker said
Parker is the paramedic who helped save Xavier’s life on that October Friday night. She says Ramirez has used his experience to make a difference for others.
“X is a person who has taken what he went through and turned it out for something positive and given back to his community.” Parker said. “Given back to the world, really.”
Ramirez said he couldn’t have done it without her.
“She’s like my second mom,” Ramirez said. “She checks up on me and we text and stuff like that. It’s just awesome and getting to be with her here at the station, like even better it feels like a full circle.”
So, when the Slaton Tigers take the field, they can rest easy knowing one of their own is watching over them.
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