February is American Heart Month and we at Pickleball Channel want to encourage heart health awareness. One way to do that is learning CPR and how it can save lives. Two members of our team have had to use CPR to save people’s lives, both giving someone a second chance at life.

Our story today involves Rusty Howes, Executive Producer of Pickleball Channel, and long-time player Jerome Collins who found themselves in a scary situation while they were playing pickleball together.

Because it is American Heart Month, please watch this episode of I Heart Pickleball as it shines a light on the importance of knowing CPR and using it to save lives.

Please watch now and decide to learn CPR today. And then click on the following link to learn how:

Heart.org Video about Hands-Only CPR

========== WATCH THIS RELATED VIDEO ==========

how-to-do-hands-only-cprWant to watch a quick tutorial on how to do hands-only CPR? Check out this video from the American Heart Association. The few minutes to take to watch this video could save someone’s life! Watch Two Steps to Staying Alive now!

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This article was originally shared on June 21, 2016 at 9pm PST


  1. Great story Rusty. Had the same experience on the court with not so good outcome. I am retired from the fire Department, pickleball is my sport now with so many new friends. Saw you at the Cal state games keep up the good work.

  2. Strong work Rusty. Karen helped with CPR on a fellow player at a tournament in Bend Ore. The following year at the same tournament he was one of the referee’s for our match. It was a tearful reunion. CPR saves lives. You helped Jerome extend his life. Maybe long enough to say the I love you’s before exiting stage right.

    • Thanks Terry. And thank you for sharing another story about CPR saving a life and helping spread the word. We are grateful we got another year with Jerome.

  3. Thanks for a great story with a good outcome. I would like to add that it is important for all players with any type of medical conditions to wear medical ID. It is smart for all players to wear some form of identification. You may know a player as Jack or Mary, however who do you contact in case of emergency? Do they have any allergies?

    There are many types of sport ID’s on the market. Get one, wear one.

  4. Jennifer Lucore

    WOW, great video and story Rusty! What a share and experience…. Such a great reminder for all of us to get certified or refresh those simple life saving skills that anyone can do….

    • Thanks Jennifer! We have been seeing a lot of comments about people wanting to get trained in CPR. So glad we are getting the word out there and thanks for commenting here!

  5. Hi Rusty, Thanks for sharing.

    My wife and three others were playing PB when all the sudden one of the players got dizzy and had to sit down. He couldn’t recover his breath and subsequently passed out. His heart valve was stuck closed. Fortunately for him he was surrounded by current and former medical personnel and retired first responders who love to play pickleball. They immediately laid him out on the court with his feet raised up on a bench and began searching for breath and a pulse. There was none. His heart had stopped. The team started CPR and chest compressions until the paramedics arrived. He was gone for a full 5 harrowing minutes and if it wasn’t for the instinctual efforts of his friends who happened to be trained in CPR he most likely wouldn’t be here today. We are all very grateful. CPR saved his life.

    • Thank you Gary for sharing! We need to keep spreading the word that CPR saves lives! So glad it ended well for your friend. Thank you again for sharing! Keep up the good work.

  6. Tiffany Collins

    What a wonderful video…I absolutely LOVE IT! Thank you, Rusty on behalf of the ENTIRE Collins family in Minnesota! I am one of Jerome’s nieces and the sister to his oldest niece, Feiona. My mom and Uncle “Rocky” (as we lovingly referred to him) Jerome Collins were siblings. My Uncle came from a family of 5 Collins children and he was the last one surviving. So, THANK YOU, Rusty for giving us another year with him by the CPR you administered that day in 2015. Rusty is our COLLINS FAMILY HERO and forever in our hearts! Thank you Pickle Ball Community, we love you, too for the love, friendship and family support that you gave my uncle. He spoke of you all often and expressed his love of pickle ball all the time! Even though we don’t play pickle ball, we can now say we truly LOVE pickle ball and the entire pickle ball community, too! This activity and his pickle ball friends were everything to my uncle. Thank you for this final gift (video) to our family. God bless you all. Tiffany Collins, loving niece of Jerome Collins.

    • You are very welcome Tiffany. We are so glad we were able to preserve this amazing story about Jerome and are so pleased that your whole family will be able to enjoy it forever. Jerome truly blessed our pickleball community. Our condolences and prayers are with your entire family with the loss of Jerome.

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