‘I have a new lease on life’: Teammates help save softball player’s life in Taylor

Teammates said it was special to see their friend alive, well, and smiling again

TAYLOR, Mich. – A Downriver senior softball team was celebrating a victory when they suddenly had to jump into action to save one of their own.

What first looked like dehydration became much more severe, with a seizure and a heart attack. Thankfully, his entire team jumped into action and helped him survive.

Last Thursday (June 1), when temperatures were around 90 degrees, Hank Sower, a City of Taylor Hall of Fame Athlete, celebrated a win with his teammates.

“We’re sitting around in chairs, and I felt extremely dizzy, and I told Hugh, my fellow teammate, that I wasn’t feeling good to keep an eye on me, and he did,” said Sower.

“I asked the guys for some ice from their coolers because he was sweating profusely, and it looked like heat exhaustion,” said teammate Hugh MacEachern.

MacEachern was an EMT and has volunteered for Taylor’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) for the last eight years. He started taking Sower’s pulse as his condition worsened.

“You could see he was getting a little anxious, and I told him, ‘Don’t worry, if something happens, I know what to do,’” MacEachern said.

Moments later, Sower had what appeared to be a seizure.

One teammate called 911 while another ran about 100 yards to a fire station. Paramedics came to Sower’s rescue, took him to the hospital, and at one point, Sower had a heart attack.

Doctors said Sower had major blockage and put in two stents.

MacEachern and another teammate were among the first to visit Sower in the hospital.

“The hospital staff attending him said that if not for the actions of all his teammates, he wouldn’t be with us today,” MacEachern said.

Sower and his family are incredibly grateful for them stepping in.

“I have a new lease on life,” Sower said. “God gave me more days. He’s not done with me yet.”

He said thanks to their quick thinking, he gets to hold his great-granddaughter again.

A Downriver senior softball team was celebrating a victory when they suddenly had to jump into action to save one of their own. (WDIV)

“When I was in the hospital, I guess your life kind of flashes in front of you a little, and I was thinking of her, my grandkids, and I just want to see him grow up,” Sower said.

For MacEachern and other teammates, it’s special to see Sower alive, well, and smiling again.

“It was pretty touching,” MacEachern said. “We love Hank. We really are grateful to God and grateful to all the teammates for what they did. It was teamwork when it mattered most.”

About the Authors:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.