Bystanders help youth football coach suffering heart attack on sidelines

Bystanders helped save a youth football coach suffering a heart attack. (KSL, HERRIMAN HIGH SCHOOL, CNN)
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 1:52 AM MDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2023 at 1:53 AM MDT
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HERRIMAN, Utah (KSL) - Bystanders leaped into action when a youth football coach in Utah collapsed on the field.

It turns out, Taylor Cowan was having a heart attack.

It was practice as usual on this Wednesday in Herriman, but one session before Labor Day was one nobody will ever forget.

“Taylor was running a drill with our running back group,” Herriman Youth Football Bantam head coach Nate Rothe said.

The event was caught on camera.

Bystanders helped save a youth football coach suffering a heart attack.
Bystanders helped save a youth football coach suffering a heart attack.

“I saw out of the corner of my eye, Taylor stumble and then collapse,” Rothe added.

Across the field, the Herriman High School teams were just finishing practice when witnesses saw something was wrong.

“All of a sudden, I just heard somebody yell that they needed a trainer,” coach Heath Holverson said.

Holverson coaches the high school freshman team.

“I looked down there, and I could see a coach was down. And so I ran over,” Holverson added.

While he started CPR, Herriman’s head coach Dustin Pearce said he couldn’t explain how, but he knew at that moment exactly what to do.

“I’ve always wondered how I would react to something like that,” Pearce said.

Pearce grabbed the AED and made a run for it.

“For some reason, everything was crystal clear,” he described.

Taylor Cowan and his brother, Scott, have helped with the youth team for six years.

A few months ago, Taylor Cowan started having chest pains.

He was in cardiac arrest that day.

‘The first thing I remembered was just waking up in the hospital with my friends and family nearby telling me that I had chest compressions,” Taylor Cowan said. “They shocked me, and it looked like I wasn’t going to survive there for a little bit.”

Taylor Cowan’s nephew Cole is on the team. The night was terrifying for him.

“I was just really scared to see him down on the ground like that,” Cole Cowan said.

For everyone involved, football brings them together.

“It makes me feel like I have a new purpose on life,” Taylor Cowan said.

The moment on the field has bonded them for life.

“I will not take this life for granted, like I’m here to help people and as a teacher and coach. It’s my job,” Pearce said.