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Blue Devils ace Schmidt Becomes Hero off the Field

It was like a scene straight out of a movie; only for Dom Schmidt and his family it was all too real.

“Yeah it’s crazy. You always hear stories about freak things that happen where people just kind of drop,” Schmidt said. “Crazy things happen, but you never think you’re going to be in that situation where you’re the one that’s gonna have to do CPR on your mom. You never think that’s going to be you. So when it does happen…I don’t know. I was just in shock for a long time. That whole night I couldn’t process what was happening.”

Dom Schmidt, a senior on the Kenmore West baseball team, was having dinner with his mom, Kelly Schmidt, on March 20th when their world almost changed forever.

“We had a late practice that night and I had plans to go to my mom’s for dinner with my sister (Adrianna). And it just happened that we got out of practice late and I wasn’t able to get there until about 6:45,” Dom said.

“We sat down for dinner, we ate. Everything was normal, everything was fine. My sister was in the other room. We’re sitting there watching T.V., then I looked over and my mom is kind of passed out. And she turned a pale, purple-ish color… I could just tell she wasn’t breathing. Something wasn’t right.”

Kelly had gone into cardiac arrest.

Dom quickly called 9-1-1 and the dispatcher began to talk him through how to perform CPR on his mother.

“They said I had to do CPR when she stopped breathing and do chest compressions,” Dom said. “So I got her on the ground and I had to do that for about five to six minutes.”

At a time when most people might have panicked, Dom found it within himself to remain calm and performed CPR on his mom for what seemed like an eternity as EMTs raced to the house.

“It was just crazy because there were no signs leading up to it,” Dom said. “There was no warning. She never had a history of heart problems. Nothing. It just happened.”

Dom said EMTs arrived on the scene in about six minutes and they quickly took over the CPR process. They used five quick blasts from the defibrillator to revive Kelly. During the ambulance ride to the hospital the EMTs required another round of the defibrillator before she was finally stable.

Kelly had to have a pacemaker installed and was then released from the hospital. She has since made a full recovery.

Weeks later Dom was still trying to process the events of that night.

“The main thing I told him the day it happened is that I believe everything happens for a reason,” Kyle Schmidt, Dom’s close friend, said. “Whatever reason that happened to his mom that’s just going to reward her and him further down the path in life. It seems like God has a plan for the kid. He’s given him a little rough patch to start his life, but I think it’s for the best and I’m just proud of him for doing what he does.”

“Yeah that’s the main thing to me that’s been crazy through everything that’s happened,” Dom said. “On a normal night I wasn’t supposed to be there. I go there as often as I can. My mom and I have a very good relationship, very close. We just don’t live together. I went there that night and it just happened to be that night that I was there. I was so tired I thought I’ll see her tomorrow. If I wasn’t there she would have been alone. It’s just crazy that I was there when it happened. I guess God works in weird ways.”

So Dom doesn’t see his mom every day. This, thankfully, was one of those days they were together.

Dom said that he cannot thank his teammates enough for their constant support. Proving that there are teams. And then there are families. The Blue Devils are definitely a family.

“A lot of the guys on the team reached out to me that night,” Dom said. “Zach (LaPlante), ZTB (Zach Boyes), Kyle, Jack (Reilly), Matt (Chimera). A lot of them reached out to me that night making sure I was ok. Checking up on her. Coach (John Haynes), Coach Pudge (Ed Mahoney). They’re great coaches, but they’re great people as well. They care for you off the field.”

Dom said that coach Haynes was especially supportive. Telling him any time he needed anything, regardless of the time, day or night, he would be there.

Haynes, who knows CPR, said he could not imagine being in Dom’s shoes as a 17-year old having to perform CPR on his own mother.

“I’ve had to do CPR once and it wasn’t a spur of the moment thing. It was coming in and helping someone else,” Haynes said. “I give him a lot of credit, especially with everything that’s on his plate. He really stepped up and saved a family member. Hats off to him for doing that. It must have been very, very tough. And he was being walked through it over the phone by a dispatcher.”

Kyle Schmidt was quite honest when he thought about what Dom was facing that evening and he doesn’t know what he would have done. “I’d like to say I’d be able to do the exact thing he did, but I’m not too sure if I would have been able to,” Kyle said.

Along with becoming even closer with his mom, Dom said this experience has had a profound effect on him and has given him a new perspective on life. On who and what really matter most.

“Just being a kid, a teenager in high school it’s easy to get sidetracked with a lot of other things you’ve got going on in your life,” Dom said. “I’ve got a lot going on with sports and my social life. So you don’t think oh if I don’t hang out with my mom am I not going to get the chance to do it tomorrow? So I feel like it kind of put things in perspective for me. When you go through life, especially as young as I am, you never think your mom’s not going to be there. You’re supposed to get that extra day with her. You’re supposed to be able to go out with your friends and come home and talk to your mom when you get home. So for me that was the big thing.”

Dom Schmidt hasn’t had the easiest journey in life. His family isn’t together in what most think is the traditional way.

He has a fiery competitive side that sometimes makes it hard for him to control his emotions in the heat of the moment. Which has given some people a wrong impression of who Dom is as a person. But those who know him best see a good friend. A good person. A person who has kept his life together in trying times that most people couldn’t wrap their heads around.

“Being pretty much technically his brother it’s crazy to see what his life has been these last couple of years especially what happened with his mom,” Kyle said. “I don’t know how he goes through the stuff he has to go through because if it was me I probably wouldn’t be able to do it at all.”

Dom, who is 17, continued by saying this was a life changing experience that reminds him every day not to take anything or anyone for granted. Especially his mom.

“More than anything its helped me figure out what’s important,” Dom said. “Every kid goes through a lot of stuff in high school. There’s high school drama, but at the end of the day when something like that happens to you in the middle of your senior year, right before your senior season (of baseball), nothing else really matters. Your mom is on the verge of dying. No matter what happens I think it really just brought back the focus of what’s really important in life. What I really should be concentrating on. Just appreciate the fact that my mom is such an amazing woman and the great mom that she is. I shouldn’t take it for granted.”

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