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1 team, 1 heart for local soccer player who suffered heart attack

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Posted at 10:05 PM, Jan 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-12 22:46:58-05

CEDAR SPRINGS, Mich. — Connor Hansen and Jeffery Soules are teaming up off the soccer field for an important reason.

Two months ago, Jeffery found himself needing life-saving CPR.

"I kept on running and then I remember getting light-headed and, like, I don't even remember falling and that's when I blacked out," Soules told FOX 17.

Jeffery says he has a hereditary heart condition, but his family never thought this would cause him to go into cardiac arrest. Thanks to the quick thinking and some muscle memory, his coach and EMS got Jeffery stable.

"When I made the call to 911, the operater picked up and they were fantastic and he instructed me what to do," Coach CASSA '07 Boys Team Adam Petty said.

Now, Jeffery has a defibrillator and pacemaker and is back out on the field.

"At first I was a little nervous, but then I was really excited that I could play with a team again. I do like indoor better than I like outdoor," Soules said.

Still, that moment when Jeffery went down is going to live on in their memories of his soccer teammates.

Connor, who lost his dad due to heart issues and seeing his friend gasping for air, didn't know what to feel.

"My thought was, 'Why the heart?' Just basically, 'Why again?" Hansen said.

Connor and a few of his teammates didn't want to feel helpless again, which is why they say getting CPR certified is so important to them.

"If we had the proper training, we could have just went and helped," Hansen said.

"I think it might come in handy later in life, and if they keep on focusing on it and continue to practice it and be really important and save somebody's life," Soules said.

According to the American Heart Association, about 40,000 children are born with heart defects in the U.S. each year.

And while some can be diagnosed while still in the womb, there are a number of ways to screen for defects after they're born, like EKGs and chest x-rays.

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