Jan 29, 2015
Lifesaving Play

By Patrick Bohn

When Utah State University men’s basketball player Danny Berger collapsed during a practice Dec. 4, Aggies’ Athletic Trainer Mike Williams sprang into action. Thanks to Williams’s quick thinking and an automated external defibrillator (AED) that was located nearby, Berger is alive and well.
Berger, a junior, was walking over to get a drink of water during practice when he collapsed suddenly. Williams, standing at the other end of the court, saw Berger go down and immediately ran over to him and found he only had a faint pulse. Thinking quickly, Williams began performing CPR and yelled for the AED to be brought over. Minutes after he collapsed, Berger’s heart was given a shock.

Williams also directed someone to call an ambulance, and by the time he had given Berger a second shock, the paramedics had arrived to take him to the hospital. But Williams wasn’t done. Gathering Berger’s medical information from an office, the athletic trainer drove to the hospital to make sure the doctors had all the information they needed.

Berger will have a defibrillator put in his chest and will be recuperating for a few weeks before he can discuss the possibility of returning to play. But for now, he remains thankful Williams was there when he needed him.

“I tried to tell the doctor I wanted [Williams] to be my personal defibrillator, but they didn’t go for that,” Berger joked to The Salt Lake Tribune . “But I owe Mike a lot. I can’t pay him back.”

Williams is thankful that, despite the quick thinking that needed to happen and potential pitfalls, everything turned out okay for Berger.

“You can’t worry about all of them,” he told the Tribune. “Things worked like they were supposed to work.”

Patrick Bohn is an Assistant Editor at Training & Conditioning.


As an Athletic Trainer and Clinical Coordinator, here in New York at Hofstra University, I commend the quick action of the ATC. Nice job.

Kristin LoNigro MSEd, ATC
Clinical Coordinator
Hofstra University

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