By Jill Fox
An evening playing soccer proved life-changing for one Coral Springs family.
On December 16, Frank Tomsey, 45, was participating in a ‘parents verse kids’ soccer game with his daughter’s travel soccer team when he stumbled and collapsed on the field at Terramar Park at 6575 NW 76th Dr.
According to Deputy Fire Chief Mike Moser, a call came into the Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department at 5:50 p.m. advising that a man in his 40s was in and out of consciousness.
Frank had suffered a massive heart attack in front of everyone, including his daughters, Tessa, 10, and Teagan, 4.
“Three minutes after we received the call, the 911 caller told us that the man was not breathing, and our dispatchers began giving pre-arrival CPR instructions over the phone,” said Moser. Tessa’s soccer team parent, Naomi Concepcion, started compressions on Frank.
“CPR saved his life. Naomi saved my husband’s life,” said Frank’s wife, Deana, who wasn’t at the park when it happened.
High school sweethearts since age 14, Deana and Frank have known each other since their days at Coral Springs High School and now live in the same Coral Springs home where Frank grew up.
When the Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department units arrived at 5:56 p.m., they found Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies and a City of Parkland Park Ranger performing CPR. Frank regained a pulse at 6:17 p.m. and was taken to Northwest Medical Center.
“What was done on that field saved his life,” said Deana, a fifth-grade gifted teacher at Riverglades Elementary, who has decided to make it her mission to get others CPR certified.
She said her Riverglades family has been so kind and loving. “Our principal, JoAnne Seltzer, checks on me multiple times a day and is going to help me and others get CPR certified.
Moser said the incident showcases the need for rapid citizen CPR, and without the early intervention, Frank may not be alive today.
Although Frank is healing, Deana said every day presents new complications, and they are still trying to get his vitals stable. Frank will have to wear a life vest when he is released, but they hope he will be home in time for Christmas with his girls.
“We’re just trying to get through everything,” said Deana. “I’ve been praying to God every day.”
Shortly after Frank’s cardiac event, residents took to social media commenting about the need for automated external defibrillators (AED) in the park. Currently, one is located inside of concessions building 7745, which is adjacent to the baseball fields at Terramar Park.
A GoFundMe has already raised over $13,000 for the family to help with the upcoming medical bills and expenses.
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- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.
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