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Orem football player who collapsed undergoes heart surgery

Published May 21, 2013 7:26 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

An Orem High School football player who collapsed during a practice last week underwent an overnight surgery that lasted into Monday to repair an unspecified heart defect. He is responding well.

Alpine School District spokeswoman Rhonda Bromley said Monday that Ben Smith, a 16-year-old sophomore, was brought out of a medically induced coma late Saturday night. "He responded well," Bromley said, indicating the boy was aware of family and his surroundings.

"The doctors spoke very positively about his recovery," Bromley said of the boy's condition after the surgery Monday afternoon at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo. "He is communicating with his family as well as the doctors."

Smith's coach, Tyler Anderson, has been credited for performing CPR that saved the teen's life shortly after the student athlete collapsed Thursday afternoon during wind sprints. Doctors later said the boy had suffered a heart attack.

His family, including his parents, Richard and Susan Smith, and his 17-year-old brother, Jeremiah, reportedly were with Ben Smith when he awoke from the coma Saturday.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: remims