LOGAN, Utah (ABC4) — Utah State University welcomed back a football player on Thursday after he nearly lost his life during practice one week ago.
Josh Davis, a redshirt freshman wide receiver from California, collapsed during football practice last Thursday after suffering cardiac arrest that has been determined to not be football-related.
Davis used the opportunity to thank his coach for staying with him until his parents arrived in Utah, the sports medicine team for performing CPR and saving his life, the doctors and nurses who took care of him, and the community for all the prayers and support.
“Exactly a week ago, I was lying on the field fighting for my life, and now I’m able to walk into this room and talk to all of you, so I’m just very blessed to be here,” Davis said during a press conference Thursday morning.
“[The athletic trainers] all stepped up. They all did a great job and, fortunately, we had the result that we did,” said Mike Williams, USU Associate Athletics Director for Sports Medicine.
Williams said those athletic trainers immediately started CPR and used a defibrillator on Davis. They were able to revive him before EMTs arrived. Davis was transported to a Logan hospital and later transferred to McKay Dee Hospital in critical condition.
Davis said Coach Blake Anderson wouldn’t let him give up and kept yelling at him to fight.
“He was praying I would survive, and once I was in the hospital, he stayed right by my bed,” Davis said.
Anderson stayed with Davis in the hospital while Davis’s parents made the trip from California to Utah. He said the doctors kept telling him Davis shouldn’t have survived. They were shocked when Davis’ condition went from critical to stable the next day.
“It was unbelievable what everybody did,” said Matt Davis, Josh Davis’ father. “As you’ve heard, we had to get here from California. People said, ‘When you land, call us. Right before you take off, call us. We’ll give you an update.’”
“Thank God for this miracle and thank you guys so much,” said Chrissy, Josh Davis’ mother. “And I also want to say thank all the people who have been sending their prayers and support.”
The family said doctors still don’t know the cause of the cardiac arrest.
“The short answer for playing football in the future is probably not, but I’m kind of not really worried about that right now,” Josh Davis said. “Kind of just taking it slow, taking it day by day.”
Anderson said while Davis can’t play for the foreseeable future, he will continue to be involved in the program in some capacity.
“I’m always going to be grateful to be a part of this Aggie family,” Davis said. “I’m definitely going to be around the team and have jobs to do with the team.”
Davis told the press that his doctors are 110% sure that he is alive today because of the quick action of the athletic trainers.
As a thank you, the Davis family is making a donation to the school and encouraging others to do the same.
Their goal is to establish an endowment that will pay for the sports medicine program for years to come and, in turn, keep USU athletes safe for years to come as well.