MIAMI (WSVN) - In honor of American Heart Month, a South Florida hospital is recognizing the school staff who saved a teenage athlete’s life.

“I just want to say thank you,” said Javon Alls, who survived cardiac arrest. “I’m so thankful for them, and they will always be in my life forever.”

Three months after he nearly died at school, this teenager is back in the arms of the people who helped save his life.

Last November, 17-year-old Javon Alls was at wrestling practice at Miami Southridge Senior High School and went into cardiac arrest.

His coaches and athletic staff acted quickly, using an AED on him, a defibrillator to stabilize his heart and doing CPR.

Alls ended up at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, where doctors figured out the problem.

“It ends up he ends up having a condition which is inheritable. In other words, it can run in the family, but it doesn’t show itself until individuals reach a certain age. In this case, it was the age of 16 or 17,” said Cardiologist Dr. Ronald Kanter.

Alls said he went from an athlete who never even had an IV, to fighting for his life.

“No signs of any medical history at all, just went down during practice and this team, this school saved me,” said Alls.

Doctors and nurses said they don’t get to see this positive outcome often.

“The way that they were able to carry this out so swiftly and courageously, as if they were this emergency response school that practices drills all the time,” said nurse practitioner Melissa Olen.

The hospital presented awards to the people who started CPR on Alls, including April Gonzalez.

“I knew that something was wrong, and when I couldn’t feel a pulse on him, I knew right then and there we had to do what we had to do to keep him alive and to keep his heart pumping,” said Gonzalez, an athletic trainer at Miami Southridge Senior High School.

Alls’ advice for all teenagers: get your heart checked out.

“It’s better to find out before than after,” he said.

Doctors said all school gyms and sporting events should have AED’s, and people should know how to use them.

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