Woman Rushes From Stands To Save Little Leaguer’s Life With CPR, Wins Mother’s Day

  • Rick Chandler

It happened in Harrington Park, N.J., in a Little League game between 8-year-olds — and so far I’m seeing nothing that warrants our attention here. But wait — one of the kids suddenly tries to steal third, and the catcher’s throw hits him in the chest.

Little Ian McGreevy starts to get up, then collapses, and stops breathing. As other parents call 911 and cry out in confusion like Dr. Seuss characters, one mom, Maureen Renaghan (pictured), figures she knows what to do. She calls on her 20-year-old CPR training and snaps into action, giving the boy mouth-to-mouth and chest compressions. And she brings him back. The Record:

“I just saw this beautiful child on the ground, his eyes were wide-open, his lips were turning a little blue,” she said. “I put my hand on his chest, and I didn’t feel anything.”

Neither of Ian’s parents were at the game (his father was en route).

Renaghan started performing the chest compressions that are a key part of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, she said. Still no breathing. His eyes were still open, empty. She then tried to blow air into his mouth. She had to pull open his clenched jaw, she said.

“On the fourth puff, he choked and I felt a heartbeat,” she said. “And he turned over and threw up.”

Unlike your college experience, this throwing up was the result of something great.

This all happened on Saturday — yep, the day before Mother’s Day.

“It was the greatest moment of my life,” Renaghan said. “Knowing he’s going to be fine and that his mother is going to have him on Mother’s Day, that’s all that matters to me.”

Incidents like these are rare, but it only takes one to get your attention. In 2011, for instance, a 13-year-old died after being hit in the chest with the ball while attempting to bunt.

So the question is, should we be padding up our kids to play Little League? There are Ninja Turtle-like protective products out there: the Evo Shield, for instance, claims to be so comfortable that your kid “will forget he’s wearing it.” You will probably not forget you paid for it, however: $90. Under Armour, Easton and other companies make similar versions that are about $50 less.

You’re not going to convince me that a kid “will forget he’s wearing it” in the fifth inning on a brutally hot day, but all in all it makes a lot of sense to wear it. Plus, if you get a black one you kind of look like Batman.