CHARLOTTE — A Charlotte man who was unresponsive for 13 minutes after a cardiac arrest playing basketball is using his experience to save lives.
Omar Carter is the focus of an upcoming documentary on ESPN, along with his lifelong friendship with former Charlotte Christian teammate and NBA star Steph Curry.
Carter has been raising awareness about heart health for about eight years, and offers CPR training through the Omar Carter Foundation.
Carter spoke with reporter 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 standing in the huddle,” he said. “And I was kind of off. Even within my playing. I seemed extra tired.”
That was when his heart stopped for several minutes.
“The night that it actually happened here, I want to say, maybe 50 to 100 people were at the gym, but nobody would touch me except a bystander,” he said. “Actually, it was my wife’s mother.”
An ICU cardiac nurse happened to be there, stepped in with more compressions and used an AED.
Carter said she delivered three shocks
Doctors placed him in a medically induced coma and on life support. Carter managed to survive.
“I think the healing is a process, but I think it’s always going to be there,” Carter said. “Because I’m surrounded by basketball. My friends are basketball players.”
Now, his friendship with Curry will be the focus of an upcoming ESPN documentary called “13 minutes.”
It will be on ESPN Saturday at 9 a.m.
“I can still hear the game when I think about the Grady Cole Center and what it symbolizes,” Carter said. “It’s a tough journey.”
(Watch the video below: Local basketball player who collapsed on court raises awareness of sudden cardiac arrest)
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