Family of Utah student credits trainer for saving his life after cardiac arrest

Dec 13, 2023, 9:23 PM | Updated: Dec 14, 2023, 10:58 am

SMITHFIELD, Cache County — An athletic trainer in Cache County is credited with saving the life of one of his high school athletes.

Dean Phillips, 16, suffered a cardiac arrest while working out on Monday afternoon at Sky View High School in Smithfield.

Dean was flown to Primary Children’s Hospital where we’re told the has pneumonia but is otherwise doing well, up walking and talking. But, it’s Curtis Cazier, an Intermountain Health athletic trainer, working at Sky View High School, that the family is crediting for saving him when he lost consciousness.

Cazier said he was working with another injured athlete on Monday afternoon when some students ran into his office. They told him Dean was unconscious and not breathing. Cazier has been an athletic trainer for 10 years. Monday was the first time he’s had to use his CPR training in an emergency.

But that didn’t slow him down.

He said when he saw Dean, he knew it was very serious. He’s also gotten to know Dean over the past couple of years. Those relationships are one of the things he loves most about his job.

“The best part about my job is that I get to form relationships with the student athletes at the school,” Cazier told KSL TV.

Cazier said Dean plays football for Sky View and is a leader on the team, a charismatic self-starter with lots of energy.

“He’s a tough kid, and one that’s always trying to work hard, bring energy,” Cazier said.

Utah teen saved by friends, athletic trainer after cardiac arrest in weight room

But Monday afternoon when Dean’s friends rushed to get the trainer, their friend was in cardiac arrest.

Cazier said he asked Dean’s friends to get an automated external defibrillator — called an AED. They also called 911.

Minutes later Dean was on his way to a hospital in Salt Lake City. Family and friends say he’s only alive because of Cazier, something Cazier downplays.

“Without everyone working together the outcome could have been very different,” Cazier said.

Two days later, in the hospital, Dean is said to be doing well, and expected to make a full recovery. Something Cazier still won’t take credit for.

Family friends have set up a GoFundMe account for Dean’s family.*

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Family of Utah student credits trainer for saving his life after cardiac arrest