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Referee who survived heart attack reunites with player who saved him

The ref reunites with the player who saved his life

Basketball referee reunites with player who saved his life after heart attack on court


Not many people can go back to the scene of their death, but John Scully was able to go back to the exact gym where he died – and meet the man who saved his life.

Scully, a basketball referee, was officiating a semi-pro game between the Jamestown Jackals and Toledo Glass City in June 2022 when he suddenly suffered a “widowmaker” heart attack — so named because so few people survive such events. remains

Doctors even told his fiancée, Donna, that almost no one comes back from widow makers.

“He’s that one percent,” Donna said.

“I was in the right place at the right time,” Scully said. “I mean, that’s why I’m here.”

Within seconds of his collapse, a Toledo player named Myles Copeland rushed to his side and began performing CPR. Copeland, a forward on the team, was a Toledo firefighter just a year out of the academy who knew exactly what to do when Scully fell.

“I’ve never seen someone just collapse, but I knew what to do,” Copeland said.

Knowing he helped save Scully’s life, Copeland said, is “really one of the best feelings in the world.”

When Scully returns to that ill-fated gym, Copeland is invited to stop by. It was the first time the pair had met since Scully’s fall.

Since that day, Scully has undergone quadruple bypass surgery and returned to refereeing. He’s refereed nearly 50 games this season and looks no worse for wear — all thanks to Copeland, who has lived up to the ultimate Cinderella story.

To contact On The Road or send us a story idea, email us: OnTheRoad@cbsnews.com.

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Steve Hartman

Steve Hartman

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