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Baseball hits boy, stops heart during game
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ROHNERT PARK  (AP) — A Northern California family is hailing a set of parents as heroes for helping to save the life of their son after he was hit in the chest during a youth baseball game, causing his heart to stop.

The 8-year-old batter was hit by a pitch during a Cal Ripken Baseball game Saturday in Rhonert Park. He took a few steps toward first base and collapsed, but received quick medical attention from Dan and Susan Farren, paramedics who were watching the game.

The Farrens performed CPR until paramedics arrived and used a defibrillator to help restore a normal rhythm to the boy's heart, said Johnson, who is also the youth league's director. His name has not been released.

The boy's parents "want the community to know the Farrens are absolute heroes in their eyes," Aaron Johnson, who is speaking for the family, told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

The boy, of Rohnert Park, is recovering and is expected to remain at Oakland Children's Hospital until at least Tuesday. Doctors planned to conduct more tests as they monitor his progress.

The pitcher who hit the boy is upset and has been in contact with the family, Johnson said.

"He's doing better. Every time he hears his friend is getting better, it takes the burden off of him a little bit," Johnson told the newspaper. "A pitcher's biggest fear is hitting someone."

The injury has led league officials to consider keeping a defibrillator on the grounds.

"Hopefully this prompts some in snack bars," Johnson said.

Last week, a Southern California boy died after a softball hit him in the chest at school during a physical education class. It was his 16th birthday. He also had developed a heart rhythm problem.