Philip Alston, a 2019 Westerville North graduate, is recovering from a life-threatening situation that occurred Oct. 4 during a workout with the California University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team.
His father, Anthony Alston, said a medical issue caused his son to suffer cardiac arrest while taking a break during an intra-squad scrimmage. He was transported by helicopter to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.
Anthony Alston said Oct. 5 that his son “seems pretty normal” but needs to remain hospitalized until tests are taken Oct. 7.
“Physically, he’s OK just to walk out of the hospital, but we want to find out what caused this,” Anthony Alston said. “Right now, he seems pretty normal, but (Oct. 4) had to be brought back to life. We don’t want to speculate. Hopefully we’ll get more clear answers (Oct. 7).”
Philip Alford was participating in the scrimmage when he went to the bench for a break. His father said Philip went to get some water and passed out. A teammate notified California coach Danny Sancomb, who called over trainer Jordan Blair. The trainer administered CPR to Philip and used a defibrillator before the player was taken to Allegheny General.
“The staff at Cal U did a great job, keeping me updated every 30 minutes until I could get (to Pittsburgh),” Anthony Alston said. “We keep getting more news about how things are going.
“The results of the examinations said that there was no heart or artery issues. He had a very low hemoglobin count and definitely needs more iron. The doctors said it was low blood volume, and that made his heart go into cardiac arrest. They are stumped as to why an 18-year-old would have such a low count. That’s why they are running so many tests.”
Anthony Alston said his son had been complaining about listlessness and had been looking for the cause.
“Philip had said he felt like he was getting tired too quickly over the last couple of months and was losing energy during practice and games,” his father said. “The doctors said his heart was having to work hard and it finally got to the point that (his heart) could not sustain that. We’re blessed that the coach and the team were there to respond so quickly.”
As a senior at North, Alston was second-team all-district in Division I and first-team all-OCC-Buckeye Division after averaging 11.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and a team-high 2.4 blocks.