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White Plains Athletic Trainer Hailed As Hero For Saving Boy's Life

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A White Plains high school athletic trainer spoke Tuesday of how he saved an athlete's life after the freshman slammed his head on the gym floor.

"You've got someone else's life in your hands," said Max Anderson, athletic trainer at Archbishop Stepinac High School, "and you just want to bring them back."

As CBS2's Marc Liverman reported Tuesday, that is exactly what Anderson did last Friday. There were less than two minutes to go in a freshman basketball game where the Bronx's Mount St. Michael Academy was taking on Archbishop Stepinac.

Anderson looked up from the corner of the gym.

"I see the kid go up for a rebound, and when he comes down, he just lands right on his back and actually smacked his head right into the ground," Anderson said.

The athlete was left holding his head in pain on the gym floor. Anderson ran over, and within less than a minute, he said the student stopped breathing.

Right away, Anderson started giving the student CPR.

"The only thing you're thinking about is getting the guy breathing again," he said.

It all happened right here on this side of the court in the paint. Anderson said he gave the student five compressions and then he started breathing again, and he said what happened next is something he'll never forget.

"He let out this huge gasp, and it was the best sound I ever heard," Anderson said. "Some of my athletes even mentioned the whole gym could hear that gasp. You could hear a pin drop in here, and it was the loudest, best sound ever."

Within minutes, EMS was on the scene and the freshman was taken to the hospital. The student as of Tuesday was recovering at home, but was cleared to come back to school.

His mother put out a message on Facebook: "Words cannot express how grateful I am to this man for his quick response and amazing heart. He saved my baby boy – he will forever be our hero."

"It's why you do athletic training," Anderson said. "You're out here six to seven days a week just to help these kids."

Anderson has been working as an athletic trainer just for the past two years.

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