Local News

Coaches' Quick Thinking Saves Wrestler's Life

Posted February 2, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST

— Doctors say a freak accident is to blame for nearly killing a Wayne County high school wrestler. Quick help from coaches and onlookers saved his life.

Seventeen-year-old Justin Moore does not even remember part of his wrestling match. As the Aycock High School senior was pinned, he stopped breathing and lay limp on the mat.

"I don't remember ever getting pinned," Moore said. "I don't remember getting pinned on my back, thrown on my back or nothing like that."

He also cannot remember a swarm of coaches from both schools frantically looking for a pulse, a breath, or any sign of life.

"He did not respond at all and would not look at me," said Coach Kevin Smith ofC.B. Aycock High School. "He was just not there with us as far as I couldn't get a response out of him. When I couldn't get a response, I knew that something was wrong."

Doctors say Justin had somehow suffered a pinched nerve that cut off blood to his brain. Wilson'sFike High Schoolcoach Richie Pridgen may have saved Justin's life. He started CPR and restored Justin's breathing.

"I think it's a good thing for all of us to know, and I was just thankful at that point in time the other night that I remembered something," Pridgen said.

"I just want to thank everybody so much for everything they did and for all the help and support," Moore said. "I got a lot of phone calls the other day, and people went up to see me."

Justin is back in class now with a new appreciation for life that few men his age can claim.

"It could have been a whole lot more serious than it was," Moore said. "Thank God, it was not."

Justin's mother tells WRAL that while she is thankful for the quick help, Justin will not wrestle again this year. -->