Tragedy Narrowly Averted at Basketball Game

Andrew Patashnik

Abby Wexler, Angelina McHugh, and Ally Findeisen

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Six minutes remained in the second quarter when a girls basketball game turned into an emergency situation, requiring quick thinking of Stamford High School staff.

The game, which took place in the Stamford High School gym on December 28th, was between Westhill High School and Scarsdale High School.  Tom Ferrarese, a girls basketball referee, had collapsed midcourt due to a cardiac arrest. Stamford High School staff immediately came to action, helping to save the man’s life. 

Jordan Napolotiano, Stamford High School’s athletic trainer, was quick to step in, applying the AED and performing chest compressions on the man. Napolotiano describes his life-saving actions, “After the shock was delivered, I went through two rounds of CPR so that involved some compressions and rescue breaths. Which luckily enough for him and us really, after the second round of CPR, he was able to become responsive again”

Ferrarese became unresponsive twice, but thanks to Napolotiano’s actions, he was able to remain conscious when EMT personnel arrived, just 6 and a half minutes after he had collapsed. 

Christopher Passamano, Stamford High School’s Athletic Director who also helped Ferrarse, describes how proud he is of the staff’s reaction.  “They were awesome. This man is alive because of the staff. Because they did everything right, nobody panicked, everybody took care of the kids in the gym, focused on what was needed to be done and got it done. It was great. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”