NORTON — The Norton High School football team was ending their first game on their new football field Saturday night when the official timekeeper collapsed from an apparent heart attack.
But thanks to the quick actions of the team’s trainer and coach, he is now recovering in a nearby hospital.
The Norton High School Lancers won their game against Sharon High School, and Coach Jim Artz pulled his team to the end zone to debrief the game.
“The kids were super excited. The town was excited. Full house. We made a big deal of it,” said Artz.
It was not long until Artz said he noticed some commotion near the base of the stands.
“I didn’t understand what was going on,” he said. “Then as I started to get my vision I could see chest compressions were being done.”
A man, said to be in his 70s, had collapsed on the track surrounding the field. Artz said he made his way over to the man to see who it was, fearing it could be a relative of one of his players.
“I saw a man that was purple and lifeless. I was in a state of shock,” Artz recognized the man as the time keeper for the game.
The stands were packed Saturday night and many of them watched the horror unfold. But there was one person people knew to turn to.
That was Norton High School’s Athletic Trainer, Kathryn “Kat” Sevigny.
“I hear people yelling, ‘Kat, Kat, Kat. We need you.’ And I see a man lying on the ground,” said Sevigny.
The 26-year-old ran over to the man who she said had no pulse and was not breathing.
“I just went. Training took over, I guess, because I was just in another world,” Sevigny said.
After trying CPR, she called for her AED in a final attempt to bring the man back to consciousness.
And it worked.
“He went from lifeless to talking,” said Sevigny. “It felt like a million years. But I think it was in a span of five minutes.”
Sevigny says she has never used her AED before, but something told her to check the batteries before the game, not knowing she’d use it just hours later.
Coach Artz says there’s no question her years of training, paired with her focus, saved the man’s life.
“She’s a hero,” Artz said.
The family of the victim is very private. They are not releasing his name. They said he is in the hospital recovering and is feeling like himself.