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‘Guardian angels’ save West Middle School football player after he collapsed during a game

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Brody Go Fund Me Picture
Brody Henningfeld in the hospital.

SIOUX CITY (KTIV) -- A West middle school student is out of the hospital, and recovering, after collapsing on the sideline of a football game last week.

Brody Henninfeld suffered, what was believed to be a seizure, during a game Sept. 17 at Memorial Field. But it turned out to be much more serious.

Strangers turn into guardian angels rushing to his side and performing CPR to keep Brody alive.

Bishop Heelan Football staff, off-duty nurses and emergency responders flooded the field to keep Brody alive until paramedics could arrive. See, Brody is your average middle schooler. His parents say he loves sports, is known as a sweetheart and is always smiling.

"We're lucky. We're lucky he's ours," said Sheila Henningfeld, Brody's mom.

Their lives were shaken on Sept. 17 when Brody collapsed during the middle of the 3rd quarter as West Middle took on Bishop Heelan.

"We're lucky to be standing here right now. Not a second goes by that mom and I aren't praying. Hundred and hundreds of people have reached out so far have had him in their thoughts and prayers. It's a miracle and we are really lucky, " said Thomas Foxhoven, Brody's dad.

Brody's parents were running late to his game. When they arrived they expected to see a football game going on. Instead, the game was stopped and they saw a west middle player on the ground.

"We yelled what's the number? Who is that out there? When they told us it was 63, we collapsed and ran out to the field," said Foxhoven.

Keaton Slaughter is a football coach at Heelan.

"When I was out there, I heard her scream for her son. That noise is kinda what stuck with me," said Slaughter,

When he saw people rushing to the field, he joined to see what was wrong.

"It felt like an hour. It was probably 10-15 minutes of CPR and keeping him alive until the paramedics arrived," said Slaughter.

Deb Harpeneau and Danielle Lester, Heelan football moms and nurses, were also at Brody's side working to keep him alive.

"It was a team effort by many," said Lester.

"He had lots of guardian angels. I remember when I ran by the Heelan football team, I could hear them saying the Hail Mary," said Harpeneau.

"When I told her he had a pulse…I've gotten a lot of hugs but I've never had a hug like that," said Slaughter.

Doctors say Brody is lucky to still be here. His parents credit that to the strangers who rushed to his side and fought for his life.

"We owe these people the world right now that were there helping him," said Foxhoven.

Brody came home from Omaha Children's Hospital Wednesday. He was greeted by West football players, parents and coaching staff.

Doctors diagnosed him with CPVT, or an abnormal heart rhythm.

When Brody's heart rate increased during the play, it caused stress on his heart and triggered an abnormally fast heartbeat.

Keaton Slaughter set up a GoFundMe for Brody's medical expenses. It's raised over $10,000 for Brody. It even got shared on social media by a former Bachelorette contestant.

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Claire Bradshaw

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