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Clemson lacrosse player saved by opponent after on-field seizure

Matt Mynes, Contributor

Clemson men’s club lacrosse team celebrates against West Virginia. 

Potential tragedy was averted this weekend in Lynchburg, Virginia during Clemson men’s lacrosse game thanks to true sportsmanship and some emergency medical technician (EMT) training.  

In the fourth quarter of the Tigers’ matchup with Indiana on Saturday, senior attackman John Holcomb notched the Tigers’ tenth goal to solidify a seven-point lead. Minutes later, he collapsed on the field, unresponsive. 

In a moment of confusion, Indiana sophomore defenseman Harris Jaffe was on the field at the same time, ready to use his EMT training. Jaffe flipped Holcomb on his back and delivered chest compressions, working with the Liberty trainers who rushed onto the field to resuscitate Holcomb.  

Jaffe and the trainers were able to stabilize Holcomb’s vitals and ensure a viable breathing rate when an ambulance arrived shortly after.  

“I talked to him a bit and just thanked him for everything,” Holcomb told Insider Lacrosse about Jaffe. “Thanked him for just the dude he is because that took some courage… He’s an unbelievable person.” 

After a visit to the hospital, it was revealed Holcomb suffered a seizure due to a mass he had been previously unaware of growing on his brain, according to Insider Lacrosse. 

He is now home with his family for the time being as they await further test results and prepare for a potential surgery to remove the mass in the coming weeks. 

“[Holcomb] is doing well and in good spirits,” said senior goalie and team president Dan Laible in a statement to The Tiger. “He is receiving great medical care and appreciates all the support that he is being given. The team stands behind [Holcomb] for everything to come and will continue to support him as a teammate, friend and brother through this all.” 

Jaffe’s training and assistance were vital in Holcomb’s revival, but there was a moment when Jaffe almost missed the game.

“[Jaffe] was late to the bus and I contemplated leaving him,” Indiana lacrosse head coach Austin Jarrett said on Twitter. “I don’t want to think about what could’ve happened had I not went to get him.” 

This is not the first time Jaffe has been involved in a life-threatening situation. He is a survivor of the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting in Parkland, Florida. According to an interview with, he spent years of high school on a nationwide campaign advocating for safer schools and later completing his EMT certification. 

In 11 games, Holcomb is second on the team in assists with 18 and has eight goals. 

As said to Insider Lacrosse, he is thankful for Jaffe’s actions and plans to “get back out there soon.” 

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