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Shinnston Man Saved by Healthcare Workers After Suffering Heart Attack During Basketball Game

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SHINNSTON -

On Monday Dec. 9, Butch Carpenter was at Lincoln High School doing something he loves. He was officiating a boy's basketball game.

During the 3rd quarter the unexpected happened.

"When I got there everything was normal. We get out and get started and I noticed I was having a little trouble keeping my breath up," said Carpenter.

After two quarters and a couple of breaks Carpenter said he thought he felt better, but during the 3rd quarter he knew something was wrong.

"I was thinking hey, I need a break here. How much time do I have in this quarter? I looked up at the clock and thought, 'wow my lips feel funny' and they started tingling. And boom that was it," Carpenter explained.

Carpenter suffered a heart attack on the gym floor, and what he recalls from that night comes from what witnesses have told him, including a nurse who was in the stands.

"She said ‘Butch, when I got there you were stiff, and you were blue' she said you had no pulse and you were what we call flat lined. She tried to do compressions and couldn't get them deep enough. A nurse from Lewis County couldn't get the compressions, so a doctor came in and got the compressions started. Holly Hawkins the Athletic Director at Lincoln went and got the AED and boom I was back," Carpenter said.

The doctor who helped Carpenter was from Lewis County, Dr. Robert Snuffer.

Carpenter then went to the hospital and is now adjusting his lifestyle so a situation like that won't happen again.

He said the heart attack has made him change his outlook on life.

"I know there are a few things I want to work on that I wasn't working on before, like family. Family is the most important thing to me now," said Carpenter.

Carpenter wants to get AED machines put into every school, because he said they can save lives.

"I want to be an advocate for these AED's. I want to be a spokesperson that says this is why you need them," Carpenter said.

His wife Tammy said this is the best Christmas present she could have gotten.

Carpenter said he will take some time off from officiating, but this has not deterred him from going back to something he loves to do.