CHICAGO — A Chicago man is grateful to be alive after collapsing on a basketball court.
Doctors say he’s only alive because of the actions of a heroic Chicago police officer who says, he’s “always on duty”
Elston Harris looks younger than his 53 years, and acts it, too. The former standout basketball player at Mercer College is now a regular at pick-up basketball games in on Chicago’s South Side in a 40+ league.
“He was playing a pick-up game or set in the gym at Corliss High School,” said the victim’s brother Lionel Harris. “During the course of the game, I guess the game got intense, and my brother had what appeared to be a heart attack.”
Elston collapsed, and some thought it was an NBA-style flop.
“The guys, sometimes they fake and play,” Lionel said.
This, however, was the real thing. A massive heart attack that doctors say virtually no one survives.
“He had 100 percent blockage,” the victim’s sister Mavis Harris said.
But on this day in this gym, there happened to be a trained emergency responder who recognized exactly what was going on and immediately started CPR.
“I noticed that his eyes started rolling back, and he was taking very deep and heavy breaths, and at that point, my training and instincts kind of kicked in, and I started CPR,” said Chicago police Officer Ben Jones, 2nd District.
“It was at least 10 minutes, he performed CPR and chest depressions,” Lionel said.
“That’s what saved him, so I’m just so very grateful and thankful for that,” Mavis said.
“It was pretty strenuous, but my adrenaline was kicking in. It was in the moment so, I didn’t really feel it. It was instinctual,” Jones said.
Jones, a 32-year-old, 7-year veteran of the Chicago police force, was playing in the open gym. Doctors say without Jones there, Elston Harris might not be alive.
“I did what i could, I did what I was trained to do, what I knew to do,” Jones said.
Now Elston is recovering in the ICU.
“The doctors put in a stent to open it up and he’s OK,” Lionel said. “God bless that officer.”
“This truly is a miracle. God is good,” Mavis said.