Teen High School Student on Life Support After Going Into Cardiac Arrest During Basketball Game


A Detroit high school student is on life support after going into cardiac arrest during a basketball game Tuesday.

Cartier Woods, a senior at Northwestern High School, was playing in a varsity game against Frederick Douglass Academy when the incident occurred, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Detroit Public Schools Community District superintendent Nikolai Vitti told the outlet that CPR was administered before Woods was rushed to nearby Henry Ford Hospital.

The young man was placed on life support, Vitti said.

Athletic director Jay Alexander told The Detroit News that early in the first quarter, Woods “took himself out of the game, then collapsed near the bench.”

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“He was sitting on the sideline and just collapsed,” Alexander told the News. “He felt like something was wrong, so he just told the coach he needed to come out of the game because he wasn’t feeling well.”

Alexander said all schools in the public school league, including Northwestern, have an automatic external defibrillator, or AED.

“They did all that stuff [CPR] and the ambulance came and took over, took him down the street to Henry Ford,” he said, the News reported. “He was never alert, that’s why I guess they are saying cardiac arrest, because his heart stopped, but it wasn’t a heart attack.”

Pierre Brooks Sr., the coach of Douglass Academy, called it “a pretty tragic scene.”

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The game was halted and the gym was emptied after Woods’ collapse, he said, comparing the situation to the one that occurred when Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed during “Monday Night Football” last month.

“It was mutual that based on the emotions of his players and my players and fans that it wouldn’t be good if we’d continue,” Brooks told the News, adding, “We’re all praying for him.”

WXYZ-TV reported Wednesday that the young athlete was in the intensive care unit, “where family members say his recovery is up in the air.”

Woods’ aunt and legal guardian, Dwanda Woods, told the TV station he had no known prior heart problems.

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In addition to basketball, the News reported, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Woods played quarterback, tight end and linebacker for the Northwestern football team.

His aunt said the teen athlete has played sports since he was 10 and hopes to play in college next year.

“No one can stop him,” she said. “He just loves playing football, basketball. That’s his number one goal of what he wanted to do his whole life.”

The recent increase in apparently healthy young people suffering sudden cardiac events has caused many to question why it seems to be happening so often.

WXYZ ran a related story by Dr. Partha Nandi about why athletes experience cardiac arrest. That article said such incidents can happen for several reasons, including undiagnosed genetic conditions or when athletes suffer a blow to the chest.

Nandi recommended a comprehensive medical history and exam for anyone who has a family history of heart disease, if anyone in the family has died unexpectedly before age 40 or if the individual experiences “warning signs” such as shortness of breath, chest pain, abnormal heart rhythm or fainting.

Others have pointed out that the incidence of young people suffering such medical episodes seems to have started right about the time that most schools mandated the COVID vaccine in 2021.

Twitter user Craig Wax, described as a family physician, author and “champion of individual rights and health freedom,” indicated a possible relationship between Woods’ collapse and the vaccine. “How long, Pfizer, Moderna, and Janssen, will you abuse our patients?” he asked.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, continues to say the COVID vaccines are “safe and effective” and recommends them for children 6 months to 17 years old as well as adults.

“The known risks of COVID-19 illness and its related, possibly severe complications, such as long-term health problems, hospitalization, and even death, far outweigh the potential risks of having a rare adverse reaction to vaccination, including the possible risk of myocarditis or pericarditis,” the CDC’s website says.

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Lorri Wickenhauser has worked at news organizations in California and Arizona. She joined The Western Journal in 2021.
Lorri Wickenhauser has worked at news organizations in California and Arizona. She joined The Western Journal in 2021.