A Greenfield, Tenn.. player has made a miraculous recovery after his heart stopped working during a game with South Fulton.
The match was being played last Friday night in Greenfield, but it came to a halt with just 2 minutes left when senior Blake Rodehaver collapsed on the ground.
Blake recalled the incident saying, “I remember I came to the sideline, and I looked at the coach and was like, ‘I don’t feel good. Something don’t feel right,’” he said.
Trainers started working on him, but soon his heart stopped beating, prompting people in the crowd who were CPR certified to try and revive him.
Blake’s mom Shonda said, “People in the stands were telling me, ‘I think he’s just getting sick,’” she said. “But by the time we got down to the bottom, they were doing chest compressions.”
The Rodehaver family can never forget how the entire stadium began praying for their son’s life in one accord. “The entire stadium stopped and started praying on both sides for those working on him, and we have no words,” Shonda said.
Senior quarterback Matt Scates said, “We started on a knee. We knew there was something wrong,” he said. “Once we saw everybody rush in, we knew exactly where we had to go, and that was to God.”
Members of South Fulton knew Blake as a former student, and they also joined together in praying for a miracle.
Their prayers were answered after 20 minutes when Blake’s heart started to beat again.
His dad, Jason said, “Once they got him in the ambulance is when I pretty much stepped away and walked back, and I looked through the window,” he said. “Stephanie Wilder, who was our great friend who was working on him, gave me a thumbs up, and mouthed the words ‘pulse and breathing’.”
Jason knows that the prayer offered at the stadium had saved his son’s life. He said, “We witnessed a miracle,” he said. “No two ways about it. We witnessed a miracle. My message to everybody out there is that God is still in the miracle business. He’s still open. He’s still there. He saved my son; there’s absolutely no doubt about that.”
Blake was then taken by air to Vanderbilt, and stayed five days there, he underwent tests to diagnose what had gone wrong in his heart that day. His friends and teammates kept supporting him there as well with heaps of text messages.
This whole experience has brought Blake and his team much closer than before, “Before this all happened, you know, we were a really tight team,” Blake said. “We were a family. I love my teammates, but that night changed everything. We became a legit family.”
Greenfield’s Head coach Ross Brown called Blake the “hype man” of the team and hoped this experience would inspire the football team and bring them even more closer. “I mean, our motto is now ‘Fight Like 15.’ As a whole, we’re hoping this is going to grow us together as a family,” Brown said.
As for Blake, his football career in his senior year is in doubt due to the doctor’s report of a genetic condition. But he’s happy to be alive and around. “It’s tough,” Blake said. “It’s definitely a big blow, especially in my senior year. I had a lot of hopes. But I’m still here, and that’s the bigger picture right now. You can’t play if you’re not here, and I’m just glad to be here.”
But God has bigger and better plans for Blake because now he is going to return to the Greenfield sidelines as a student assistant coach this year to help out his Yellowjacket teammates.