Yale Men’s Lacrosse's Konrad Collins Saves a Man's Life with CPR


BEND, Ore.  —  We’ve seen heroes of all kinds during the pandemic, and some have no idea that it will be them. Like Yale men’s lacrosse sophomore Konrad Collins, who saved the life of an ailing man Monday outside his home.

Collins, his mom, Kristin, and a friend (Penn Lacrosse player Sam Handley) were in the kitchen when they noticed a man who had collapsed on the street next to a woman on a phone pacing frantically. After Kristin alerted them of the severity of the scene, the three ran over to see if they could help, and the 6-foot, 4-inch Bulldogs midfielder jumped into action.

“I actually haven’t had any formal training, but somehow remembered a brief conversation about CPR I had with someone from The Red Cross on Yale’s Cross Campus last spring,” said Collins, who checked the man’s pulse (got nothing), peeled back his shirt, began compressions and asked for someone to begin breathing into him.

Kristin Collins wasn’t certain how to handle that, especially during the pandemic.

“The man’s wife (who is in her 70s) wanted to do the breathing, but didn’t know what to do. Although my CPR class was about 20 years ago, I somewhat remembered what to do. Tilting his head, I instructed the lady to plug his nose and begin breathing,” Kristin Collins said. “Konrad dictated the rest.”

Konrad kept his calm and continued with consistent chest compressions and guidance. There was no sign of life for five to 10 minutes, but then the man showed signs of breathing. But then he stopped. The paramedics, who were slowed by the gated entrance to the community, arrived shortly after and used a defibrillator to help him regain consciousness.  

“There wasn't much thought, I just saw something happening and knew someone had to react quickly. When he first gasped is when I realized the stakes of the situation and hoped desperately the CPR was working,” said Konrad Collins, the former Summit High School four-sport varsity letterman who captained the football and lacrosse teams. “I would not have known at all what to do had it not been for The Red Cross coming to Yale last spring and teaching students about CPR.”

The man was taken away and is recovering in the hospital. Konrad, Kristin and Sam returned to the kitchen with their chests feeling like they had just run a timed mile. Kristin gave them both a high-five and said, “You saved a life today! Nice work, gentlemen.” 

They still weren’t sure until Kristin Collins got a call from the man’s wife.

“When I found out he had recovered, I felt massive pride. However, anyone who’s been trained could have helped in that situation,” Konrad Collins said. “Now I’m just glad I was there and that he’s OK.”

The sheriff, who arrived with the medical personnel, made sure to tell the Yale player he had saved the man’s life.

As for the lack of certification, Konrad Collins said, “I’ve since enrolled in more formal training and would encourage everyone to learn more about it.”

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