DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich (FOX 2) - Number 5 is stepping out on his home turf for the first time as an Annapolis High School Cougar.
Fox 2: “Are you nervous you're going to get hurt?”
“No ma’am,” Rob Brown III said.
It's a miracle he's here, 2 years ago…then, 15-year-old Rob Brown III was laying on a floor of a Sterling Heights diner without a pulse in full cardiac arrest.
His dad, helpless.
“That was the last thing I saw looked at him and I passed out and he said he tried to wake me up and I wasn't getting up,” Brown said.
It was a congenital heart defect, the same one that killed his mom when he was 4 years old, threating his life now until a stranger stepped in.
“I don't think I'm a hero I think it was instinct to want to help someone,” Susan Pendygraft said.
Susan Pendygraft, certified in CPR - worked on him for minutes. Because of what she did, he's alive today.
But, doctors said he'd never play sports again, especially after having a pace maker put in.
“It was basically no more football and football is the main sport I love with a passion,” Brown said.
He's not the type to take no for an answer, just ask his coach, AJ Linares.
“Out of the 36 kids on the roster there is one that texts me, calls me, emails me, FaceTime’s me when I'm at the gym, nags me, it's completely different,” Linares said.
He worked his butt off, training everyday, but was stuck on the sidelines for two seasons.
“Every time we lost it would make me wat to cry and I know I could help my team,” Brown said.
Rob researched, and found other athletes who played with pacemakers with a special pad.
Fox 2: “What does that do”
“My pacemaker is right there and it protects me,” he said.
The new gear, and continued perseverance - got an all clear from doctors.
“I'm here for a reason god brought me back for a reason this is what I'm here to do, play football,” he said.
Coach AJ is all about the tough love with this one – but you can see their special bond.
Rob says his mom wrote him a journal before she died - reflecting on her words, thinking about what she would say this night.
"She would be scared but she would be happy that i'm here playing the sport I love,” Brown said.
Rob dedicated this first game to his mom, and Coach AJ's dad, the former head coach here who died suddenly last year when his heart stopped. Both I'm sure, couldn't be more proud of Number 5 and all his hard work.