Most high school football coaches would like to forget a 53-0 loss, but to Daryl Hayes, it became a game he’ll always remember.
According to the Frederick-News Post, at halftime of the St. John’s-Concordia Prep game Saturday in Maryland, Hayes began to suffer a heart attack caused by a blood clot that was lodged in an artery connected to his left ventricle. The clot blocked about 99 percent of the artery, Hayes’ wife, Kelly, told the paper.
The St. John’s coach continued to lead his team during the second half despite the medical emergency, finishing out what could be the team’s last game of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic. Hayes was then treated at the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center, a facility located a few miles from Concordia’s football field.
Hayes began feeling chest pains that grew gradually worse as the second half progressed, with the 48-year-old eventually experiencing numbness in his left arm and part of his left leg. Hayes, however, remained on the sidelines. Kelly said she noticed her husband’s trademark energy began to dip as the game went on, but figured it was just due to the tough loss.
Doctors were able to clear the blockage and insert a stent. Hayes spent Saturday and Sunday in the ICU before he was discharged Monday. Kelly said doctors didn’t expect her husband to have any lingering damage from the heart attack.
“He is lucky to be alive,” Kelly Hayes told the Frederick-News Post. “We really dodged a bullet. It was too close of a call for my comfort, but he made it through. That’s a relief.”
“He’s a warrior, man,” said St. John’s junior quarterback Tiernan O’Rourke. “He loves all of us, and he will do anything for us. He loves all of us to the bottom of his heart.”
This Post first appeared on “New York Post”