MADISON, Miss. (WJTV) — Tuesday afternoon was a just a normal practice at Madison Central until the unthinkable happened. Sophomore tight end Jack Houston collapsed.
Madison Central’s athletic trainer Josh Hardin jumped right into action.
“He tells us what to and we do what he tells us to do and that was the situation with Jack,” said Jaguars head coach Anthony Hart. “Josh [Hardin] cut the shoulder pads, the different things that he asked people to do, we did it. And with his direction, we were able to make a bad situation a lot better.”
“I’m a guy that has faith in God, so to look back on it, I don’t think surreal. I think planned,” said Hardin. “My fire rescue, EMT guys from Madison, Madison Fire department — they were literally just finished responding to a call and were on their way back to the fire station, which is not far. But, at the same time, all they had to do was turn.”
According to Jack’s doctors, tests showed that his heart function is reduced, and they think the cause is likely a condition he was born with or the result of a viral infection.
“Saturday morning, me and Coach Davis went there and Jack was awake and talking and happy and that was just unbelievable after what he went through Tuesday,” Hart said. “To me, if you want to know my belief, God’s hand’s all in it. He had Josh at the right place, he had the EMTs at the right place, coaches at the right place.”
Jack’s stepfather credits Hardin for saving his son’s life.
“Funny thing is, his stepdad actually played baseball while I was an assistant athletic trainer at Mississippi College, so we’ve known each other for 20 years and he reached out Tuesday evening and said ‘hey man thanks,” Hardin said.
“For me to sit there, even though I was confident how we handled the situation, what I did. But, there’s still that moment of what if. Could I have done something better? Could I have changed the outcome? And when you finally get the word, hey they’re waking him up, he’s responding visual cues, he’s responding to audible cues and then he’s talking. That’s a big deal.”
And, of course, Jack couldn’t miss his Jags take on Brandon Friday night.
“Yes he was,” said Hart. “He watched the game. He had his jersey and he watched it on live stream in the hospital. So, he was with us.”