14-year-old, mother talk about teen’s life-changing experience

Fourteen-year-old Tyler Jackson said he will spend his free time he will spend time reading hundreds of letters classmates wrote him while he was in the hospital. (WLFI Photo)

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A Lafayette teenager is ready to return to school after heart surgery, as News 18 first told you in a story last week. The student’s mother tells us he is lucky to be alive and in disbelief by what happened.

“And right till this day, I’m still in shock,” said mother Ingrid Mccoy. “I’m just, it’s just so overwhelming. It’s unbelievable that he’s still walking.”

Mccoy said she was driving down Interstate 65 on March 17, when she got a phone call from her son’s school.

Fourteen-year-old Tyler Jackson’s heart had stopped beating while playing basketball with friends, and he was on his way to the hospital.

“I saw him, I just went in tears and all these tubes and everything was on him,” Mccoy said. “And they was like, ‘You have to get yourself together.’ And I said, ‘OK. ‘We’re about to airlift him.'”

Jackson was heading to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis to have heart surgery. At this point, he was somewhat aware of what was happening.

“Yeah, when I woke up it was like, ‘What’s going on?'” Jackson said.

He says the last thing he thinks he remembers is going up for a lay-up, and then he was being told he would need surgery.

“That was the hardest part, I was like surgery,” Jackson said. “I’ve had this before.”

After a 10-hour surgery, Jackson left the hospital the next day – walking.

“He was a strong man,” Mccoy said. “He’s a strong little boy – a man.”

Jackson said over the next week and maybe the rest of the year, he will spend time reading hundreds of letters classmates wrote him while in the hospital.

“Special thanks to Lucas, and the security guard and the nurse for using the device,” Mccoy said. “If the device wasn’t there, my son wouldn’t be here today. So I thank everybody for their prayers.”

The device Mccoy is talking about is the AED located in the gym where Jackson collapsed.

Jackson plans to return to his school, Tecumseh Jr. High School, next Monday. He hopes he can return to playing basketball soon.