CHARLOTTE — A Charlotte man who went unresponsive for 13 minutes after suffering cardiac arrest while playing basketball is using his experience to save lives.
[PAST COVERAGE: Local basketball player who collapsed on court raises awareness of sudden cardiac arrest]
Omar Carter is the focus of an upcoming documentary on ESPN, along with his longtime friendship with former Charlotte Christian teammate and NBA star Steph Curry.
Carter has been raising heart health awareness for about eight years and offering CPR training through the Omar Carter Foundation.
Carter spoke with journalist DaShawn Brown about the moment that changed his life.
Carter was 25 in 2003 and had played at Charlotte Christian, App State and overseas.
“I vaguely remember being in the band,” he said. “And I was kind of gone. Even in my game. I seemed very tired.
It was then that his heart stopped for several minutes.
“The night it actually happened here, I mean, maybe 50 to 100 people were in the gym, but no one wanted to touch me except a spectator,” he said. “Actually, it was my wife’s mother.”
An ICU cardiac nurse was there, stepped in with more compressions, and used an AED.
Carter said she delivered three shocks
Doctors placed him in an artificial coma and on life support. Carter managed to survive.
“I think healing is a process, but I think it will always be there,” Carter said. “Because I am surrounded by basketball. My friends are basketball players.
Now his friendship with Curry will be the focus of an upcoming ESPN documentary titled “13 Minutes.”
It’ll be on ESPN Saturday at 9 a.m.
“I can still hear the game when I think of the Grady Cole Center and what it symbolizes,” Carter said. “It’s a tough trip.”
(Watch video below: Local basketball player who collapsed on court raises awareness of sudden cardiac arrest)
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