James McGinnis meets heroes who helped save football player’s life

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OLATHE, Kan. — It was a harrowing high school sports moment. An Olathe East student-athlete collapsed on the football field. First-responders rushed to his side and got him to the hospital.

Now, nearly eight months later, James McGinnis finally met them. With a big smile on his face, he came to say thank you.

“We’ve been really looking forward to this moment because it was the first responders who saved his life,” said dad Pat McGinnis.

James collapsed during a football game in September. After many surgeries and months of rehab, he’s on the road to recovery.

Some of the first-responders, doctors, and nurses who helped him from day one showed up at Overland Park Regional Medical Center to see how far he’s come.

“I’m very happy to meet the people who practically saved my life,” James said.

Even his football coach at Olathe East came to support. Dad has been carefully documenting his son’s milestones. He even put his beard on the line.

“I have to walk 30 yards,” said James.

Thirty yards and the beard comes off. He’s already got 10 down.

“Instead of living in the future and what we want, we live today and what we need,” said Pat.

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