College Baseball Players Help Couple Save Their 21-Month-Old Son's Life

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterMay 15, 2013

A group of college baseball players were just out to get some late-night snacks, but managed to play a significant part in saving a little boy's life. 

The remarkable story, reported by Lancaster Online's Cindy Stauffer and the Tribune Democrat's Eric Knopsnyder, began at 1 a.m., when several members of the Millersville University Marauder (Pa.) baseball team went out for food, something all too common for college students—athletes or otherwise. 

What happened next was neither normal nor expected. 

Per the report, two players painted the terrifying image of a father pleading for help: 

"We heard two people screaming in a car, and it turned into driveway right in front of us," said Zach Stone, 21, a third baseman. "A dad hopped out of a car and picked up his kid. He just looked limp. ... The kid didn't look like he had any life to him."

Dave Pine, 20, a catcher, said, "He was screaming and yelling, 'My son is choking! He's having a seizure! Somebody help!'"

Many would have panicked and possibly hampered a time-sensitive situation. Instead, the players—who were in Johnstown for a tournament—helped the couple and their 21-month-old son. 

Third baseman Tyler McDonald jumped into action with the CPR training he had received.

McDonald calmly told the child's panicking father, Shane Norman, to take off his jacket and put it under the little boy's head, to tilt it back and open his airway.

He told the child's frantic mother, Megan, who was trying to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation, to move the child's tongue out of the way and make sure nothing was blocking his breathing. McDonald then put his ear down next to the child's mouth, to feel if he was still breathing.

In the meantime, Pine called 911 on his cell phone, scanning the nearby street signs and summoning an ambulance.

A true team effort helped to calm a frantic couple and aid a toddler who was in obvious need of care. Players who couldn't assist in obvious ways did whatever they could to help, even standing over mother and child to shield them from the pouring rain. 

Stone checked for a pulse and attempted to see if the child, Braydin Norman, would squeeze his finger. The boy did one better and, to the immense relief of the everyone, opened his eyes.

After a trip to the hospital, Shane and Megan Norman found out their boy had a virus, which had caused a fever of 104.3 degrees Fahrenheit. 

When their son was healthy enough, the parents tracked down the team that helped their son, showing up before a Mauraders game to take some pictures and get a ball signed—mementos little Braydin will no doubt treasure once he grows up. 

One of the best parts of this story is the team's humility, as their coach, Jon Shehan, had no idea what had happened.

Their coach explained his shock at the remarkable tale to Lancaster Online

"I said, 'Who are you getting your picture taken with?'" said Jon Shehan, of Ephrata, who is the father of two small children, including a son about Braydin's age. "I don't think they understood what they did, and how significant it's going to be for that little boy's life. They were surprisingly humble and nonchalant."

We will let Stone have the last word, because he seems to have his priorities in order:

"We came there just for baseball, and we ran into this family who needed our help. There's a lot more to life than baseball."


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