PORTLAND -- Hayward Demison says he s dying to be great this season.
That s an interesting choice of words given what this young man experienced 11 months ago.
Last September, Demison scored the winning touchdown in Central Catholic s win over Canby high school. It turned out that was only his first heart-stopping moment of the night.
I went to the sideline and everything went black, he said.
Everything went black because Demison was dying. Some might argue he did die when he went into full cardiac arrest.
I walked over and saw him on the ground and they re giving him C-P-R, said Central head coach Steve Pyne.
Demison was brought back to life by a nurse who happened to be in attendance at the game. Their story was featured on NBC s TODAY show. The story is now even more amazing as Demison is on the football field again, grinding it out during two-a-day practices to get ready for the season.
Cleared by physicians after surgery to repair his damaged coronary artery, Demison has a new perspective on life.
He s very focused on the bigger things in life, said Pyne. It s been amazing to see him come though this.
Pyne said he wasn t overcome with emotion until the week after Demison s heart attack, when the running back led his teammates onto the field.
I literally dropped to a knee and cried, and thanked God he was still here with us, the coach said.
I have a big heart, it s fixed now, I feel alive and healthy, Demison said, ...and I m dying to be great.
There s that expression again. Anyone who has followed his story would argue Hayward Demison has already accomplished that.