Detroit Northwestern senior suffers cardiac arrest on basketball court: 'We're asking for prayer'

The family of 18-year-old Cartier Woods raced to Henry Ford Hospital Tuesday night after the senior at Northwestern High School collapsed on the basketball court.

A mother's pain, an auntie's prayer:  "Please, wake up," said Dwanda Woods.

"So devastating, but he's a strong fighter - he's going to keep fighting," said Ashley Goode.

School administrators say Woods suffered cardiac arrest during a basketball game. Someone administered CPR and paramedics rushed him to the hospital - where he was put on life support.

The longtime football and basketball player - minutes earlier - had been doing what he loved.

"Oh he's been playing since he was maybe about 10 years old," said Woods, his aunt and guardian. "He's been playing football - basketball - nothing else he liked to do, but that."

Cartier's family says he was in good health and so active. They just don't understand how something like this - could happen to someone so young.

"He was very healthy - he loved basketball," said Shantell Woods, his cousin. "He was very amenable, respectful. We're just asking for prayer - we need it."

Now his family waits, hopes, and prays.

"He has a lot, a lot, a lot of people that loves him - from kindergarten to now - they just love him - he's no bad kid - they love Cartier Woods," said Dwanda.

The Detroit Public Schools Community District released a statement saying their hearts are heavy and they are collectively praying for Cartier's recovery.

The medical emergency is eerily reminiscent of the horrifying scene during a recent Monday Night Football game when Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest after a hit.

"Cardiac arrest is when the electrical activity of the heart stops or it goes into a rhythm that's not conducive to life," said Donulae Knuckles. "Knowing what to do in that case - in initiating care right away, is so important."

Donulaye Knuckles is a registered nurse and doctoral candidate who owns Knuckles Health Education Services. She trains people in CPR - and says for those in cardiac arrest, using an AED - or Automated External Defibrillator - like the one used on Damar Hamlin - can save lives.

"That's a machine that recognizes the heart's rhythm, and if prompted, it will allow you to bring a shock putting that heart back into a normal rhythm," Knuckles said.

FOX 2 has learned paramedics did use an AED on Cartier in the ambulance.

"We're all just praying and hoping he wakes up," said Dwanda.

A gofundme has been set up for Cartier. Find it here

Cartier Woods

Cartier Woods