Coronado High School senior back on the sidelines after cardiac arrest during summer practice

A Coronado High School football player was back on the sidelines after his heart stopped during a summer practice.
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 10:17 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - It was a scary moment for a family when Nathan Higuera collapsed during a non-contact football practice at Coronado High School in Scottsdale last month.

Higuera’s mother, Vanessa, says her son went into cardiac arrest during an early-morning practice on Aug. 23. She got a call around 6:15 a.m. saying her son collapsed on the field. “I was not expecting that,” she said. “Nathan has always been super healthy and active.”

Higuera says the coach’s quick reaction saved Nathan’s life. They performed CPR before first responders arrived and rushed him to the hospital. He was diagnosed with a heart condition and spent more than a week in the hospital. “I was kind of baffled at first because it was like came out of nowhere,” Nathan’s brother Angel Mendez said. “It did scare me.”

Nathan was back on the sidelines Friday night for the first time since the incident. He wore his jersey but will not play for the rest of the season. Vanessa says her son is on blood thinners and has more testing before he can get back to playing sports. While she says Nathan is bummed he cannot play, she is just thankful he can be there to cheer on his teammates a few weeks after his heart stopped. “I’m just so grateful and so happy to see him. Even though he can’t play, he’s happy to be here and happy to support his team.”

A GoFundMe has been created to help with the Higuera family’s medical expenses. If you would like to donate, click here.

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