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14-year-old cousin of Colorado Rockies Todd Helton saved by CPR

11:15 AM, Oct 4, 2012   |    comments
DENVER, CO - JUNE 25: Todd Helton #17 of the Colorado Rockies tosses the ball to first base for the first out of the fourth inning on a ball hit by Adam LaRoche of the Washington Nationals at Coors Field on June 25, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the Nationals 4-2. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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Knoxville Central High School freshman Hunter Helton had sudden cardiac arrest during a conditioning practice Monday.

According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, coach Jon Higgins, - a former University of Tennessee player - performed the rescue protocol on Hunter and used the AED to stabilize his heartbeat. The youth is a cousin to Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, a former UT standout. Todd Helton also played prep ball at Central High School.

Hunter's father said the boy had no history of heart problems.

"He's had poison ivy and braces - that's all," Ronnie Helton said. "He's always been a healthy, normal kid." But thinking back to Monday evening and what doctors told him, Ronnie Helton still gets emotional.

"He flatlined three times," he said.

Hunter woke up at East Tennessee Children's Hospital, remembering only a burning in his chest before he passed out.

"I didn't know anything," he said.

Hospital officials said 600 to 1,000 of the 350,000 sudden cardiac deaths in the U.S. each year occur in children or adolescents.

The youth was scheduled to be transferred to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville on Wednesday to undergo further testing.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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