John Carroll training staff's quick thinking saves ref's life

Posted at 11:24 PM, Feb 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-08 12:35:07-05

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio — A lingering tightness in the chest that comes and goes was an afterthought for one local basketball referee until he started fighting for his life as a stunned crowd watched in horror.

It was a typical game night at John Carroll just a few weeks ago, like the hundreds of others Mentor native Tim Radley’s officiated during his 40-year career.

“I remember the first half was very competitive it was wonderful," Radley said.

A top 20 women’s basketball matchup between neighborhood rivals Baldwin Wallace and John Carroll.

“The girls put up over 80 points in the first half and then we went to the locker room," Radley said.

But things quickly changed on January 19 for the father of two and husband of 45 years.

“We came out of the double doors out to the court for the second half and that’s when I collapsed and that's the last I remember," Radley said.

Radley suffered a heart attack on the court.

John Carroll's training staff quickly jumped into action.

“We realized he didn’t have a pulse, she started chest compressions and the AED was in arm's length of me we cut his clothes off and set up the AED," said Cleveland Clinic Sports Medicine Senior Athletic Trainer Michelle Fowler.

Their quick action and AED brought Radley back to life.

He’s now out of the hospital and grateful for a second chance at life.

“I collapsed. Dr. Bree and Michelle my angels were right there," Radley said "They’re just wonderful people here they really are."

Radley is currently meeting with doctors to determine when he can get back on the court and ref again.