NFL coach helps save child’s life at pool

Today, a young boy is alive and on the way to recovery due to the prompt actions of a few courageous Las Vegas tourists – including an NFL coach.

Raheem Morris, the 46-year-old defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams, was on vacation with his wife, Nicole, and their three children at the Encore resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The family was lounging by the pool when a father who had been enjoying the day with his son pulled out the 3-year-old, who wasn’t breathing. The desperate dad brought the boy to a nearby lifeguard, who started CPR.

At the same time, others and Morris took action. “I saw people calling 911, so my first question was: Where is the AED?” Morris said to ESPN. An AED, or automated external defibrillator, is a device that can detect irregular cardiac activity and then send an appropriate electric shock to help restore the heart’s natural rhythm.

Morris located the closest AED and brought it to the scene. By the time he arrived, a doctor had already started to help the boy, and Morris was able to give him the device, open it, and put the pads on the child.

Thanks to the efforts of Morris and the other helpful people, the boy was OK. His wife noted that he was discharged from the hospital just 24 hours after the incident, which is believed to have happened last weekend.

Morris credited the NFL and Reggie Scott, the Rams’ Vice President of Sports Medicine and Performance, for preparing him for such emergencies. Scott has educated the team and staff on emergency medicine protocols, including the use of AEDs and proper CPR techniques. With the on-field collapse of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin and the sad death of Arrayah Barrett, the 2-year-old daughter of Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Shaquil Barrett who drowned in a pool last month, the league has taken steps to ensure its members are equipped to assist in medical crises.

“I’m just thankful I knew what to do,” Morris said. “You never know when you’re going to need that stuff.”