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Rockdale teen honored for quick thinking in saving umpire’s life

rockdale teen

County officials honored a Rockdale County teen who saved an umpire’s life using CPR during a recent baseball game. Officials paid tribute to Alex Norwood, 16, at the March 27 Town Hall meeting.

 

“We wanted to take out some time to thank this courageous young man and honor Alex for thinking quickly on his feet and jumping into action with no hesitation,” said County Tax Commissioner RJ Hadley, who organized the town hall meeting. “I don’t know if I could have handled the situation as well as Alex did. Alex’s mother (Marybeth Phazio-Norwood) wanted us to do this tonight not only to honor Alex but to stress the importance of knowing CPR.” 

The Rockdale High Bulldogs were playing the Newton High Rams at Newton’s baseball field on March 21 when Norwood sprang into action. An umpire suffered a massive heart attack during the second inning.  

 

“He just collapsed out of nowhere. I think I was just in the right place at the right time. I had just learned how to do CPR two weeks before that game,” said Norwood, who is a junior at the Rockdale Career Academy and plays first base for Rockdale County High School. “I performed CPR on that umpire until two off-duty EMTs, who happened to be at the game, stepped in and took over.” 

 

According to Bulldogs staff, Newton County medical staff arrived on the scene about 15 to 20 minutes after the home plate umpire went down.

School officials said the umpire, Woody Reagan, was initially taken to Newton Medical Center, and then later airlifted to Emory University Hospital Midtown in Atlanta. He is expected to have a full recovery.

The game in question has been rescheduled for Saturday, March 29. 

Norwood said he didn’t run to the rescue for recognition or fame, but he has been featured on news outlets across the state, including Augusta, where CBS affiliate WRDW’s Jorge Lopez reported the story. Lopez was on hand to serve as a host for the Rockdale town hall meeting. 

 

“This thing got really big, bigger than me or what any of us could have imagined,” said Norwood, who spends his free time doing community service projects. “II never expected all this, but if the situation came again, I would help anyone in need if I can.”

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