Local mom hopes to meet those who saved her son
Oct. 7, 2017 at 12:21 p.m.
NOTE: Since the posting of this story, Laquittequa Jernigan has learned of more people involved in the efforts taken to save her son's life. The story information has been updated to include those she learned about. She is grateful to everyone who helped save her son's life.
Carthage middle school football player who collapsed on the field Thursday night in Henderson, Jasabira Pope, wants to meet the people who saved his life.
Jasabira's mother, Laquittequa Jernigan, said he doesn't remember much about what happened. He woke up wondering what was going on, she said, but she won't ever forget. She said the scene replays in her mind.
Jernigan said she saw the team running into the field and wondered what was going on. She saw them take a knee, and someone told her something was wrong with her son. She immediately ran to the field, and the coach encouraged her, telling her they had him.
"(Jasabira) was there for like three minutes before they finally revived him and got him back to breathing," she said. "It's hard, but at the same time, it's a blessing to me because my child got a second shot at life."
When Jasabira found out what happened to him, he asked, "Mom, can I meet the guy that saved my life?"
Jernigan is now on a mission to grant her son's request. "I told him I'd do my best to try to get in contact with him. I really want to get in touch with him for my son… He shocked him and did CPR on him. He brought my baby back to me. He did," she said, "he did!"
Soon after, Jernigan learned "he" is actually "they." Jernigan said someone tagged her in a post that showed Colby Barron, HISD Athletic Trainer, was recognized by Henderson ISD for helping revive Pope. According to the Henderson ISD page, "His quick response and preparedness, for emergencies such as these, likely played a large part in saving his life! Our appreciation for his knowledge and training cannot be overstated!" In addition, she learned Henderson firefighters were also instrumental in saving her son including Chris Jones who did CPR and used the AED device to resuscitate him.
She said, "I won't ever forget his face. He just don't know! I appreciate him so much! Words can't say at all. He's someone I will never forget! Never! I'm so thankful for him, because if it wasn't for him, (Jasabira) probably wouldn't be here right now. Words can't even explain how thankful I am for him being there!"
Jernigan looks forward to meeting the people who saved her son. "I want to see (them) again, too," she said. "Just to tell (them) thank you so much! Thank you!"
She said they told her Jasabira won't be able to play any more sports. The doctors called what happened to her son sudden cardiac death. "They said his heart just stopped," she said. "This is just something that happened out of nowhere."
Jasabira will be transferred to Texas Children's in Dallas soon. There, he will undergo surgery for a defibrillator so it can shock his heart if it stops again.
Jernigan said right now, they are just trying to take it one day at a time, but both are looking forward to meeting the people who gave Pope a new lease on life.