Virginia man thanks teammates who saved his life on basketball court: ‘I owe them everything’

Chesterfield County

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — A man who collapsed during a game of basketball at the Mormon Meeting House in Chesterfield can thank his teammates for saving his life. 

Les Roark’s doctors say the only reason he’s alive is because of the quick thinking and heroic actions of his teammates. He had a heart attack during the game.  

“Man, it’s going to get me emotional, dude, I don’t want to get emotional. I owe them everything,” Roark said. 

Roark is appreciating life like never before as he hugs the men who saved his life. Roark calls the men who helped him, angels.

“I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them,” Roark said. 

A man who collapsed during a game of basketball at the Mormon meeting house in Chesterfield can thank his teammates for saving his life. 

On Feb. 22, Roark was playing in his regular bi-weekly basketball game in a church gymnasium when he suddenly passed out. “I just remember the whole world went like zrrrr,” he explained. 

It quickly became clear it was a matter of life or death. 

“It’s the hand of God,” Roark told 8News. “That’s why I’m here because of my father in heaven above.”

All of the men who saved Roark’s life have medical backgrounds. 

“I don’t believe in very many coincidences,” said one of the men, Drew Ferguson. “I think it was a good thing we were all there at that time.” 

Ferguson, along with Karl Balling and David Barker, refused to give up and performed CPR until an ambulance arrived. 

“Just remember seeing a lot of commotion,” Balling said. “Running over and seeing Les on the ground, he was blue and just using some of the training that I’ve learned being a student at VCU.”

“I’m just thankful that he’s whole and nothing has change about him. And he might even be a little bit funnier,” Barker told 8News. 

Roark, who had an open heart, four-way bypass surgery, will now watch the game from the sidelines as he rebounds back to a healthy life.

His doctor says Roark can play basketball again in June.  

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