UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) – It was a near tragedy on the court when a veteran referee collapsed during a basketball game.
It happened on John Carroll University‘s back on Jan. 19, when the college women’s basketball team was battling rival Baldwin Wallace.
Just after half-time, veteran referee Tim Radley, 66, collapsed to the floor.
“She said I was staring up at her and I turned blue and my eyes started rolling in the back of my head and I was not breathing,” Radley said.
“We thought he was kidding around and joking and soon we realized he wasn’t,” said Cleveland Clinic Sports Medicine and John Carroll’s assistant athletic trainer Michelle Fowler.
Fowler, along with team physician Breanna Kebort, sprung into action, using a courtside defibrillator to bring the Mentor resident back to life.
“Realized he didn’t have a pulse, Dr. Kebort started chest compressions, I got the AED ready and luckily it was the Baldwin Wallace game we had together. If he would have collapsed anywhere else, I don’t know if he would still be here with us,” Fowler said.
Radley was transported to University Hospitals and underwent surgery the following day after doctors discovered major blockages to his heat.
“And they said one artery had 90% blockage and the other had 80%,” Radley said.
Now, some major changes are coming in light of this near tragedy. The Ohio Athletic Conference is intensifying efforts to have all officials supply updated medical information and emergency contacts since they had difficulty contacting Tim’s next of kin.
Radley, who has been a college sports official for four decades, was released from the hospital one day after surgery, with his wife of 45 years, Karen, by his side.
The father and grandfather of six credits his faith and the two women he now calls his guardian angels, to him being alive today.
He also thanks the fans, who gave him a standing ovation as he was carried by EMS off the court.