Scarborough parents Kane and Monica Downie were proud when their son James won a basketball scholarship in the US, but that pride has only grown knowing their boy has saved another young man's life.
The year 12 student is finishing his schooling in Winston-Salem, a city not too much larger than Wollongong in the state of North Carolina, where he has a two-year scholarship.
On Sunday, October 15 another basketballer suffered a heart attack and became unresponsive during training but thanks to the presence of James, who learnt CPR when he attended The Illawarra Grammar School, the young man survived.
James told radio station 2GB's Ben Fordham that he was in the weight room when his friend ran in, "crying... beside himself", and told him that someone was dead.
"I don't know what happened, I don't know what really came over me, but as soon as I heard those words... it felt like auto-pilot, you know?" James said.
"I had tunnel vision and I just ran into the stadium and I saw DJ, who was there unconscious on the floor."
Getting to the young man, James saw he wasn't breathing and had vomit and foam in his mouth.
Another scholarship student named Szymon, from Poland, had attempted to resuscitate the young man before James arrived.
"I don't really know how I remembered it, but I remembered all my CPR training that I learnt from school back home," James said.
He rolled the teen over, got the muck out of his mouth, and began CPR, performing chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth.
James said he started to question whether he was doing it correctly when halfway through the second set of compressions, he heard the young man gasp.
"I tell you, it was the biggest relief I've ever experienced, just hearing that and just looking at his whole body, whole chest fill with air," he said.
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Concerned the teenager would experience another seizure, James supported his head and neck and continued talking to him to reassure him.
But then the teammate stopped breathing again - so James began to perform CPR again until he was revived a second time.
"He just shook my hand when he was in the hospital bed and just said, 'Hey, thanks man' and I was just like, 'No problem'," James said.
The young man - who James did not know before this - is now out of hospital.
"Doctors at the hospital said if James hadn't worked on him he would be dead, his heart had stopped," James' father Kane told the Mercury.
There is more good to come out of the story: as a result of James' life-saving actions, his school in the US, Winston-Salem Christian School, plans to introduce CPR to its curriculum so its students can learn the important skill.
"It's an amazing outcome to better people's lives," Kane said.
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