Referee recovering after heart attack at GB football game

By: Kurt Johnson, The Press Tribune
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Update as of 1 p.m., Mon., Nov. 16: All reports from the hospital regarding the condition of Joel Miller are positive. Miller, the referee who suffered a heart attack during Friday night's Granite Bay vs. Woodcreek football game at Granite Bay High, remains in intensive care. The Sacramento resident was moved from Sutter Roseville to Mercy General Hospital Sunday evening and was having a type of pacemaker device inserted this afternoon at Mercy General. "He is progressing well and expects to be home by the end of the week," said NCOA supervisor of officials Jim Jorgensen on Monday. Jorgensen spoke to the family Saturday night and Miller's wife, Tavia, expressed her gratitude to the athletic staff at Granite Bay, the staff at Sutter Hospital and to the NCOA staff for their assistance and support. Grizzly head coach Ernie Cooper visited Miller in the hospital Sunday and reports that things remain positive in his recovery. We will update the story as new information becomes available. Update as of 6 p.m., Sat., Nov. 14: Reports from the hospital are optimistic with regard to referee Joel Miller. The official, who suffered a heart attack during Friday night's Granite Bay vs. Woodcreek football game, is in the Intensive Care Unit and on life support, but doctor's are optimistic regarding his recovery. The quick action of medical personnel on the field at Granite Bay provided CPR to revive Miller on the field before he was transported to Sutter Roseville Hospital. While his condition is still serious, doctors are hopeful with regard to his recovery. Granite Bay linebacker Charlie Gordon, who was knocked unconscious on the same play during that contest, is feeling much better today, according to Grizzly coach Ernie Cooper. He has a sore jaw and sore neck and a mild concussion, but otherwise reports that he is feeling good less than 24 hours later. Original story: Medical personnel on the scene, both from the Granite Bay community and the on-site ambulance crew, were able to get referee Joel Miller’s heart beating and to get him breathing before they carted him from the field to the waiting ambulance. He was taken to Sutter Roseville Hospital. The official collapsed in the closing moments of the Friday night football game between Granite Bay and Woodcreek, and required several minutes of CPR. The game was discontinued as all assembled waited anxiously for some good news. The announcement to the crowd inside the stadium at Granite Bay High School that his breathing had been restored brought a rousing ovation during some anxious moments Friday night. “He has been out here doing this for a long time,” said Granite Bay coach Ernie Cooper. “Joel is a great guy, and outstanding person, and we wish him all the best.” Granite Bay linebacker Charlie Gordon was apparently knocked unconscious on the same play late in the contest. Gordon was cared for as well and was assisted from the field. Check back over the next few days for updates as they become available.