Courtside heroes saved basketball player's life: 'I love those guys'
Five days after he lay motionless on the PNC Arena basketball court unconscious, not breathing and with no pulse, Ty Solomon is on his way home.
The S.C. State redshirt senior point guard was released Thursday from UNC Rex Healthcare’s N.C. Heart and Vascular Hospital, where he had been in the intensive care unit since collapsing during his team’s game with N.C. State last Saturday. While on the sideline of the basketball court, Solomon received CPR and his heart was shocked back into rhythm by an automated external defibrillator.
Solomon is returning home to Charleston, S.C., with his family. His basketball future remains uncertain.
In a statement released by UNC Rex Healthcare, his family expressed gratitude for all who aided Solomon when, despite having no known previous heart ailments, he collapsed while sitting on the bench with 13:08 to play in the first half of the Wolfpack’s 103-71 win.
“We are pleased to report that Ty is heading home to rest and continue recovering from the scary situation during Saturday’s game,” Solomon’s family said in the statement. “On behalf of Ty and all his family, we’d like to express our gratitude to the Wake County EMS paramedics, S.C. State Athletic trainer Tyler Long, and other first responders whose quick actions actually saved his life at PNC Arena. We’re also thankful to the compassionate physicians, nurses and other staff at UNC REX Healthcare who have cared for Ty the past few days.
“We’ve also heard from so many well-wishers throughout the Carolinas and the country. The outpouring of love from N.C. State fans has been especially welcome. Thank you for your prayers and support.
“We would also like to remind everyone about the importance of CPR education, and knowing how to use automated defibrillators. Ty recognizes that he was in the right place at the right time to have a serious medical emergency that could have had a tragic outcome. Instead, he’s looking forward to resuming a normal life, eventually returning to school and making every second count.”
N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts said he spoke with Solomon on Thursday afternoon while the family was traveling home.
“I’m glad to report that he’s doing well,” Keatts said. “They are on their way home, and that is really good for that young man. I spoke with him, and he was in great spirits. He was excited obviously to get a chance to be able to go home and be with his family a little bit.”
Before reaching his home, Solomon made a stop at S.C. State Thursday night to visit his teammates prior to a game with Brevard.
"Ty's visit to the locker room during our pregame was a warm surprise for our team," S.C. State coach Murray Garvin said. "His visit brought joy to all the guys and we were just so happy to see him. I think it gave us all a big lift."
S.C. State beat Brevard 93-65, for its second win of the season.