Lifeline Ambulance awards Thatcher Middle School students and coach for saving 7th-grade basketball coach

Contributed Photo: Shown are, from left, Lifeline Ambulance supervisor Mike Ortiz, Wyatt Nicholas, Brett Jones, 7th-grade basketball coach Braunson Summers, Branson Hughes, Wally Haller, and 8th-grade basketball coach Luke Ochoa. 

By Jon Johnson

THATCHER – Lifeline Ambulance handed out plaques to some Thatcher Middle School students on Wednesday in recognition of their quick action in helping save the life of 7th-grade basketball coach Braunson Summers. Eighth-grade basketball coach Luke Ochoa was also given a plaque for his actions as well. 

The incident took place while Summers was running sprints during an open gym at Paul Nelson Gymnasium just three days before the Thanksgiving holiday when he suddenly suffered cardiac arrest and collapsed.

With mere minutes before certain tragedy, a group of Thatcher Middle School basketball players and their coach sprung to action and helped save Summers’ life, giving him and his family a bit more to be thankful for that holiday.

Summers previously told the Gila Herald that he was extremely fortunate that the situation occurred while he was at the school as he often goes for runs or bicycle rides by himself and if it had occurred then, more than likely he would have died.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Back row, from left, students Justin West, Waller Haller, Branson Hughes, Wyatt Nicholas, and Brett Jones, hold up 7th-grade basketball coach Braunson Summers.

“Even if it would have happened at home, they probably wouldn’t have saved me in time,” Summers said.

“I’m so grateful. It’s just like a miracle.”

Read the full Gila Herald article on the incident here

Jon Johnson Video/Gila Herald