COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Three years ago, a Colonie baseball player survived being hit by a line drive to the chest, and today he educates others on lifesaving efforts.
CPR and an AED saved Joe Mendrick’s life that day. Today, he is now using his near death experience to educate others.
Mendrick doesn’t remember the day he was hit with the line drive during a little league baseball game.
“I have absolutely no idea what happened that day,” he said.
But his father, Mark, will never forget it.
“Standing there like every dad does cheering, ‘Oh, watch the pitch,’ and the ball hit him,” he recalled. “As soon as the ball hit him, it made a weird sound like a thud.”
Mendrick dropped to the ground as his coach yelled out to call 911.
“Coach Prevatel started doing hands-on CPR on him,” Mark said. “And did it for about five to six minutes until the first officer arrived.”
That man was Officer Brian Curran with the Colonie Police Department.
“He wasn’t breathing and turning blue,” Curran said. “I proceeded to start CPR on Joey.”
Mendrick was then rushed to Albany Medical Center.
“He was blue,” Mark said. “He was packed in ice.”
Today, Mendrick is about to be a sophomore and has made a full recovery, which is rare for those who have suffered from a type of cardiac arrest known as Commotio Cordis.
“One person can make a difference, you know,” he said. “One person made a difference on me.”
And at 14 years old, Mendrick is making a difference. He was given the Heart-Saver award by the American Heart Association on Thursday in New York City. The same day, he trained people in hands-only CPR and helped set a Guinness World Record of training 700 people in Times Square.
“It’s just a fun little record that we just beat, but it might seem little to someone who doesn’t really know CPR, but for us, it’s a big thing because, you know, we’ve worked toward this kind of stuff,” he said.
But that’s not all he’s been up to.
“I help pass the CPR in Schools bill as well,” he said.
The law is going to require middle schools and high schools to teach CPR to students,” he explained.
His parents and those who helped save his life that fateful day couldn’t be more proud.
“Just glad he’s here,” Mark said.
“To me, I was just doing my job that day, but it means a lot to see that he made a full recovery, and he’s doing so much with his life right now,” Curran said.
A defibrillator was also used to restart Mendrick’s heart that day. Mendrick is hoping schools will add the machines as they add CPR classes.