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Student EMT Tried Desperately to Save Classmate's Life

Student EMT Tried Desperately to Save Classmate's Life

Track team co-captain Joe Quirk stands over a shrine to Alexander Doucette who died Monday. [Courtesy Patrick Whittemore]

The Boston Herald via YellowBrix

April 21, 2010

BOSTON – A quick-thinking student EMT who tried to save a Bolton high school senior who died Monday after collapsing at track practice said yesterday he struggled mightily to rescue his friend.

“I did what I needed to do,” Brad Lewis, a Nashoba Regional High School student EMT, told reporters. “I wasn’t treating symptoms, I was treating my friend. It was very hard.”

Alexander Doucette, 18, of Lancaster collapsed during a trial of the 100-yard dash, the Nashoba School District said in a statement. The statement said Doucette’s brother, Braden, was present when the senior collapsed. He died at about noon at Clinton Hospital.

English teacher and softball coach Steve Kendall said he was running a softball practice when he saw an ambulance pull up to the track.

“Anybody who does that is heroic,” said Kendall, who described Lewis, a senior, as “an outstanding kid.”

“I think it’s a challenge for anybody to be in that position.”

The school district said Doucette had a physical in December and was cleared for athletic activity. An autopsy is planned, said Worcester Assistant District Attorney Donald Xenos.

Senior Jim Garvey, 18, said last year Doucette helped him get to know his prom date.

“There aren’t many guys who would be willing to sit through the “Hannah Montana” movie with you just so that you get to know someone before prom, but he was that kind of guy,” Garvey said. “He would do anything for you.”

Doucette played soccer and baseball, ran track and planned to attend Stonehill College in the fall, said Andy Leblanc, his track coach. He added Doucette was on a relay team that set a school record this year.

“Alex was well liked among everyone who met him,” Leblanc said. “I personally can’t believe he is gone and am going to miss him greatly.”

His soccer coach, Don Freda, said Doucette worked through knee trouble that nearly kept him on the sidelines last season.

“He worked hard,” Freda said. “You wouldn’t even know that his knees were bothering them.”

Doucette also volunteered for Nashoba Unified Sports, where he helped kids with intellectual disablities sharpen their soccer skills.

“He was just a huge help because he was so capable and flexible. He was just incredibly in tune to kids,” said organizer Joan Finger. “He was a gifted and talented and sensitive young man. This is certainly a loss to the family and the community.”