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Head Athletics Trainer Mike O'Shea to be Honored for Life-Saving Work

Head Athletics Trainer Mike O'Shea

June 14, 2013

HOUSTON - For his heroic efforts in saving the life of one of his student-athletes last November, University of Houston Head Athletics Trainer Mike O'Shea will receive the Excellence in Athletic Training Award from the Southwest Athletic Trainers Association at its annual Meeting and Clinical Symposia in Houston in mid-July.

O'Shea and his Houston Sports Medicine staff received national attention in early November following senior cornerback D.J. Hayden's freak injury during football practice. Following a collision on the field, Hayden's inferior vena cava - a major blood vessel that brings blood from the lower extremities back to the heart - had almost been completely torn off his heart.

With his quick thinking and action, O'Shea helped save Hayden's life from an injury that is 95 percent fatal and more often seen in explosions or war casualties and never in athletics competition.

Nearly six months after his injury, surgery and rehabilitation, Hayden was taken with the No. 12 overall pick by the Oakland Raiders in the annual NFL Draft and will be at full strength by the start of training camp in the fall.

O'Shea, better known as Doc around the Houston Athletics Complex, begins his 21st season with the Cougars in the fall. Widely regarded as one of the top collegiate athletic trainers in the nation, he oversees training room operations for all Houston student-athletes and leads a staff of five full-time assistants, six graduate assistants and several student trainers.

O'Shea joins Linda Bobo, Anthony Salinas, Brett "Duke" Waldon and Monica Jackson in receiving the SWATA award, which is presented to those whose heroic efforts save the live of an individual. He will receive the honor on July 19 in Houston.

Dan O'Connor, an associate professor, in UH's Department of Health and Human Performance will receive the SWATA Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award for his contributions to his professions as a volunteer at the local and state level.

Mitzi Laughlin, a UH assistant research professor, will receive the National Athletic Trainers Association Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award as a member who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to leadership, volunteer service, advocacy and distinguished professional activities as an athletic trainer.

Laughlin will receive her award during the annual meeting and clinical symposium in Las Vegas on July 24-28.

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