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MURRAY — Utah State basketball player Danny Berger's condition keeps improving after he collapsed during practice on Tuesday, leading to the postponement of the Utah State game at BYU. Berger addressed the media for the first time tonight at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray.
"I just want to thank Mike Williams, obviously, for everything he did," said Berger. "His knowledge and his experience saved my life, so I owe a lot to him." Berger also thanked the students at Utah State and everyone else for their thoughts and prayers.
"I can't put into words what it means to have that many people thinking about you and praying for you," said Berger.
I can't put into words what it means to have that many people thinking about you and praying for you.
Berger says he remembers all of practice on Tuesday up until the last play. He felt light-headed and blacked out. Jesse Parker, Aggie Team Manager and Berger's roommate, watched Danny go down and then sprinted about 60 yards to get a defibrillator.
"Before he even hit the ground, I was already out of my chair and sprinting up the tunnel for some reason I don't know. I don't know," Parker said.
Trainer Mike Williams checked Danny's pulse, shocked his heart, then performed CPR.
The doctors at the Logan ER lowered his body temperature to 32 degrees to avoid brain and nerve damage.
Before he even hit the ground, I was already out of my chair and sprinting up the tunnel for some reason I don't know.
Dr. Jared Bunch, a rhythm specialist at IMC's Heart Institute, said Berger was born with a tendency for his heart to do this, but it wasn't predictable. Dr. Bunch also said it is very unusual that Berger remembers so much of what happened. His heart was stopped for one minute before rhythm started again.
Berger's heart was in what is called a fatal rhythm, where it had electrical activity but it wasn't strong enough to support life.
Berger said his survival is a testimony that God is real and he is so grateful for the love and support from everyone.
"I just thank God. I thank God first of all, because everything had to be perfect and in place to have that happen like it did," said Berger.
Berger will be in a sling for three weeks and has a defibrillator under his skin that will shock his heart if it happens again. He will be released from the hospital this weekend and hopes to be able to attend the Utah State basketball game tomorrow.