In a Dallas Cowboys season filled with more lows than highs, one of the scariest moments came on Nov. 1 at AT&T Stadium, when Seahawks receiver Ricardo Lockette fell to the turf motionless after a big block on a punt return by safety Jeff Heath.
Trainers, paramedics and Arlington Fire Department officials sprung into action, and stabilized the fallen player’s neck, and five months later Lockette says it was their quick work and precise training that saved his life.
On a recent visit to a Redmond, Wash., fire station, Lockette, still wearing a neck brace, talked about how doctors later informed him that “if I would’ve stood up or moved my head, I would’ve died,” because ligaments in his neck were torn. “All their training is what saved my life.”
Lockette, who underwent surgery, says he is still hoping to play next season and his grave experience has given him new perspective. “That was one of my most vulnerable, helpless moments,” he told Q13 Fox in Seattle on Thursday, while he was helping distribute clothing to the homeless in the area.
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The video of Lockette thanking fire-rescue officials was shown Tuesday during an Arlington City Council work session as Arlington Fire Chief Don Crowson talked about all the special events that the department staffs.
“A lot of people don’t realize how delicate, how serious those injuries can be, how fatal they can be if it’s not done just perfectly,” Crowson said after the video. “Those two Arlington firefighters doing that made a difference.
“We’re very appreciative of the fact he took the time to say, ‘Hey, thanks.’ You tell our brothers and sisters in Seattle it means the world to them. It means the world to us. And we’re very proud of that.”