Teen who saved buddy’s life honored as Orange County Citizen of Month

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GOSHEN – Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus has recognized 14-year-old Chester resident Ty’Shawn James as May’s Citizen of the Month Award winner.

James, a freshman at Chester Academy, was recognized for saving the life of his close friend by performing CPR on him with assistance from a County 911 dispatcher in March.

“The decisive actions of Ty’Shawn, the 911 dispatcher and the first responders who arrived at the scene helped save a life that day,” Neuhaus said. “Ty’Shawn kept his cool during a scary moment and we have all been touched by this story. I’m proud to recognize him for his heroics.”

James was playing basketball with his 14-year-old buddy, Jayden Mercado, on Saturday, March 27 at Chester Elementary School when the young man went into cardiac arrest and collapsed.

James called 911 and dispatcher Stewart Matthew talked James through administering CPR on Mercado, an eighth grader at Chester Academy.

After a few minutes, the teen began breathing and paramedics from Mobile Life Support Services and officers from the Town and Village of Chester Police Departments arrived at the scene.

Mercado, who has congenital heart disease, was rushed to Westchester Medical Center, where he underwent open heart surgery. His mother, Renee Pring, said that an anomalous left coronary artery and ventricular fibrillation caused him to go into cardiac arrest.

The lad spent two weeks at Westchester Medical Center but is expected to make a full recovery.

Jayden and his mother met Matthew on Friday, May 7 at the Government Center.

Matthew and Ty’Shawn were previously introduced at an event held to honor them in the Town of Chester last month.

“I thank God for Ty’Shawn; we’re so blessed and grateful that he was around Jayden that day,” Pring said. “It was a miracle how quickly he responded. The doctors said that Jayden was losing oxygen to his brain and could have suffered brain damage if Ty’Shawn hadn’t acted so decisively. We are lucky, and so happy that Jayden is OK.”