When Cody Bowman agreed to help coach his son Delfonza’s Rookie Dodgers Little League baseball team, he didn’t know it would save his life.
The 37-year-old accountant collapsed while walking into the dugout from the field at Sunset Park, 2602 E. Sunset Road, as a game was about to start May 6.
“He fell straight forward into the gate and hit his head,” said Jen Anguiano, vice president of Paradise Valley Little League. “We thought he had an epileptic seizure or something.”
Bowman had a massive heart attack. The kids were escorted away and the coaches jumped into action. Bowman had his own personal Angel that day — Alan Biddle, one of the coaches for the rival team, the Angels.
“It was all pretty quick and pretty intense,” Biddle said. “Fortunately, a couple of years ago, the P.V.L.L. started to send in coaches to CPR training. We weren’t sure what had happened to him, but when he started changing color, we flipped him over and started CPR.”
Bowman had begun to turn cyanotic from lack of oxygen.
“He just had a blue shade that will never leave me,” said Anguiano. “I called 911, and they talked me though what to do while Alan kept up the compressions.”
Biddle said the rescue was a team effort, with parents escorting kids away, someone else flagging down the paramedics and Anguiano relaying advice from the 911 operator. He lost all track of time during the event, although Anguiano said Bowman was out for about six minutes before the paramedics took over.
It was touch-and-go for a while. Bowman was in a medically induced coma until a triple bypass surgery was performed. A few weeks later he was home, walking and feeling lucky to be alive.
“It was so scary. I just saw him lying there while they performed CPR,” said Bowman’s wife, Rachel. “It’s very unusual. He doesn’t have a family history of heart trouble. The doctors were surprised that he had a heart attack when he was so young.”
The league, with boundaries that include downtown Las Vegas and parts of the Clark County townships of Whitney, Paradise and Sunrise Manor, is mostly coached by fathers volunteering to help out their sons’ teams. Biddle is an exception. He’s coaching his grandchildren’s team.
“It’s a great bonding experience,” Anguiano said. “We’re out here practicing a couple of times a week, and the dads really get a chance to connect with their kids. Cody has been so much help this year, and Delfonza is just great. He’s such a baller.”
Due to the quick action of the other dads and granddads, the Bowmans will be celebrating this Father’s Day at home instead of in a hospital or worse.
“I’m just glad I took the class and knew what to do,” Biddle said. “Most of the coaches have taken the classes, and I hope this gets everyone to do it.”
For more information about the Paradise Valley Little League, visit www.eteamz.com/paradisevalley/ or facebook.com/paradise
Contact Sunrise/Whitney View reporter F. Andrew Taylor at email@example.com or 702-380-4532.