MIAMI, Fla. – Some quick thinking and action made all the difference for a high school senior.

Miami Southridge Senior High School athlete Javon Alls had never been hospitalized before last November. During wrestling practice, the 17-year-old went into cardiac arrest. The athletic staff at the school immediately used an automated external defibrillator (AED) to stabilize his heart. He was rushed to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital where he underwent an emergency medical procedure. He spent 22 days there and has since made a full recovery.

“Everybody, down to the people who gave me my breakfast, lunch and dinner, I just like them,” said Javon.

On Wednesday, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital hosted a special reunion for the young cardiac arrest survivor, his parents, the school athletic staff along with the medical team. Awards were presented to the people that were by Javon’s side during those critical moments. It was a heartfelt celebration of life.

“I’m just glad to be here,” added Javon.

Javon is back on the wrestling mat and looking forward to engaging in the sport in college. He tells us he received his first college acceptance offer during his time in the hospital.

As part of American Heart Month in February, Nicklaus Children’s Heart Institute wants to educate the community about the importance of having AEDs, such as the one used to save Javon’s life, in all school gyms and at sporting events to help youth in an emergency.