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Posted on Wednesday, May 1, 2024 at 8:05 am

Trice rejoins Eagles after near-fatal incident


Sports Writer

After a successful surgery, doctors were able to repair a damaged artery, which caused the near-fatal incident in February. (Submitted Photo)

It’s amazing how a tragic event can end up being a huge blessing in disguise. Such was the case for Shelbyville Central senior student athlete Kyler Trice.

The night of February 13 is an evening that Kyler, his family and many others will never forget.

Kyler looked death in the eye and eventually won the stare down.

While playing in a district tournament basketball game at Lincoln County High School, he suffered a medical emergency in the locker room during halftime.

He had a very productive game in the first half, leading the Golden Eagles in scoring with a dozen points.

During halftime, his mother, Nashika Trice, was notified that she needed to come to the locker room with the thoughts that Kyler might have been having an asthma attack after he fell onto his teammate Tae’Shawn Shelton, who was sitting next to him.

“Something was going on with Kyler and the coaches thought he might have been having an asthma attack since he does have a history with asthma and asked me if I had his inhaler,” Nashika said. “I went to the car and got his inhaler and when I got back to the locker room the situation was a little scary. He was not breathing well and the inhaler was not working.”

From that point, everyone involved knew his condition was much more serious than first thought.

His teammates were excused from the locker room and a call to see if any professional medical personnel were in the building.

That response was overwhelming.

A number of people with a variety of medical experience were at the game and gladly offered their support and help. They worked together like a team to save Trice’s life.

He was given CPR and eventually the school’s Automated External Defibrillator (AED) was used that was located on a wall just outside the locker room.

Stacy Johnson, Seth Hardiman, Leah Miller, and Neila Susan Thompson will never be forgotten by the Trice family and many others.

Johnson is a classroom instructor at Lincoln County High School in the health sciences section of the CTE department.

He is a registered nurse, as well as a paramedic, and served for over 30 years as a field paramedic, ER nurse, and flight nurse prior to coming to Lincoln County High School to teach emergency medical services classes to their students.

Hardiman is a heavy rescue captain for the Huntsville fire department and has been with Huntsville fire for 15 years.

Miller is an athletic trainer at Lincoln County High School.

Thompson is a pediatric nurse practitioner.

“Helping others is the heartbeat of nursing. God put me in the right place at the right time and orchestrated a team of folks who just helped when called upon,” Miller said. “Prayers, medical skills, and compassion all came together, and Kyler was saved.”

Kyler was transported by ambulance to Lincoln Medical Center, then airlifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

He was sedated and placed on a ventilator for several days and once he was taken off the ventilator, several tests were ran and a diagnosis was determined.

Kyler suffered from an Anomalous Right Coronary Artery.

“His right artery was on his left side functioning properly, but the valves were intertwined,” Nashika said. “What they think happened was he had exerted himself during the game and with the artery on the wrong side, it got hitched with some other arteries and caused him to go into cardiac arrest.”

This was a birth defect and was successfully corrected by surgery.

“We are truly thankful this happened when it did because if this would have happened at practice or while he was playing on the asphalt or even at any other location or gym, the medical support might not have been there and he might not have made it,” his father Kenny Trice said.

“Thank God this happened to Kyler when it happened and where it happened,” Shelbyville Central boys basketball coach Shane Young said. “This story is truly a miracle.”

The support from the Bedford County and Lincoln County communities along with many others have been overwhelming.

“I don’t remember much about it all, but I do know that all the support from so many people is amazing and I am truly blessed,” Kyler said. “Thanks to the amazing people who saved my life that night and to everyone who prayed for me. Those prayers were answered.”

Another prayer that Kyler and his family hoped would be answered was that he would be able to play baseball this season.

On March 28, Kyler got the news that he and his family had been looking for. He was cleared to play all sporting activities with no limitations.

“What a great feeling it was to get that news,” Kyler said.

Trice rejoined the Golden Eagle baseball team starting lineup and is looking forward to the upcoming post season.

Shelbyville Central baseball coach Chase Jones said, “Kyler’s story keeps everything in perspective. If you are a successful athlete, you are an intense competitor and have a strong desire to win. That attitude is what makes athletes successful, but playing team sports in high school is much more than simply winning or losing. It’s the total process of developing as a player and a human being. The fact that Kyler is able to even be here, much less play the sport he loves and be around players and coaches that care so much for him and him for them, means everything.

“As a team, we haven’t found our rhythm yet, and are working every day to do so, but even when we don’t get the results we are looking for, the fact that we are able to take this journey with Kyler as one of our leaders makes this season a very special one regardless of where it ends. Kyler’s life will be forever changed from what he has gone through. God has put him on this earth for a reason and he put his healing hands on him to fulfill that purpose. It is a much bigger purpose than baseball. I am just so thankful that we get to be around him every day and get to watch what he does long after this season is over.”