A few minutes can mean the difference between life and death.
That’s what Brian Riley, army hockey head coachhe told Fox News Digital after Eric Huss suffered a serious neck injury from an unintentional skid in a game against Sacred Heart on Thursday.
“The doctors said I had five to 10 more minutes if what hadn’t been done hadn’t been done and I hadn’t gotten to the hospital, I wouldn’t be here today,” Riley said of his player’s injury.
Riley credits trainer Rachel Leahy, who acted quickly when she saw the blood coming from Huss’s neck, for saving the team. the life of the young hockey player.
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“Without a doubt,” Riley told Fox News when asked if Leahy’s actions saved Huss’s life. “No doubt. And the surgeon told Eric’s parents that.”
The injury occurred in the second half against Sacred Heart when an inadvertent skid caught Huss in the neck.
“I was in the middle of the ice,” Riley said. “One of our players and one of the Sacred Heart players collided. Eric wasn’t involved in the crash, but it was close enough that when the Sacred Heart player lost his balance and his skates were thrown into the air, while Eric he was skating for the Sacred Heart player caught him in the neck. He cut his neck.”
As Huss skidded off the ice, the severity of the injury became apparent.
“As he got closer to the bench, you could see the amount of blood,” Riley said. “And he had his hand at his throat. And just as he got to our bench, he moved his hand for a second, and you saw this huge hole. Blood was gushing out.”
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That’s when Leahy sprang into action.
“She jumped on the bench, on the boards, and she had a towel. [Leahy] wrapped up the towel, put his hand over the artery, his finger, and with the other hand he was squeezing the wound,” Riley said.
“And he didn’t let go from that moment until they got to the hospital.”
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Huss underwent surgery Thursday night and returned to West Point Friday afternoon.
The team took Friday off after the emotional night, but reunited on Saturday, where Huss was able to thank Leahy for his actions.
“We met today, we walked into the locker room, Eric was there and Rachel was there,” Riley told Fox News Digital on Saturday. “First of all, her teammates were able to see him and they knew he was okay. And then we were able to talk about Rachel, and Eric was able to talk to Rachel and basically thank him for saving her life.”
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“We lost the game, but we won the game of life that night because of what Rachel did to make sure Eric is still with us today.”
Riley shed light on the work coaches do just days later Buffalo Bills coaches They were credited with saving the life of Damar Hamlin, who went into cardiac arrest on the field Monday night against the Cincinnati Bengals.
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“What you don’t realize is that when there’s a potential catastrophic injury, your coach is the first person that’s going to respond,” Riley told Fox News Digital. “And his answer could mean the difference between life and death.”
“What they do behind the scenes and nobody ever pats them on the back,” Riley added. “Or they don’t even have anyone who knows what they’re doing. But seeing the buffalo athletic trainer, to see how he responded. To see how Rachel responded… They just respond like they have 100 times before. And just with professionalism and calmness it’s incredible.”
Huss is a junior from Dallas, Texas.