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Padgett Gerler, one of the authors who spoke at The T&D's 10 annual Page Turner Luncheon on Tuesday, shared the emotions she and other North Carolina State University fans felt when S.C. State University basketball player Ty Solomon collapsed during a game between the two teams in Raleigh back in December.

“On Dec. 7, 2017, S.C. State’s basketball team came to N.C. State to play basketball,” said Gerler, an N.C. State alumnus. Her husband is a professor at the university.

“To say that we are avid fans is an understatement. We are rabid fans,” she said. “We’ve had season tickets for as long as I can remember.”

“And that night that S.C. State came to N.C. State, we were there. We were sitting right above the S.C. State bench when Ty Solomon collapsed to the floor,” Gerler said.

“To say it was terrifying, would be an understatement. We were just overwhelmed.”

She noted that the noise in the arena, which was packed with 19,000 people that day, is usually deafening.

“That night, you could hear a pin drop. Not one soul made a sound,” Gerler said.

“The only thing we heard was (S.C. State Men's Basketball Coach) Murray Garvin, on his knees, beside Ty, praying,” she said.

“It was one of the most moving experiences I have ever had in my entire life."

She noted that she and her husband, along with many other Wolfpack fans, have followed Solomon’s recovery since that day.

“We are so grateful to learn that he is doing so well,” Gerler said.

She asked the S.C. State representatives at the luncheon to tell Garvin and his players that “they are so courageous.”

“We were so moved by their performance,” the North Carolina author said.

“Please tell Ty that everybody in N.C. State is holding him in their hearts and we are praying for his success in the classroom as he goes forward with his engineering degree,” she said.

During the incident, Solomon lost consciousness and collapsed on the bench to the floor.

S.C. State athletic trainer Tyler Long began CPR compressions on Solomon’s chest, continuing until the redshirt senior’s heart began beating again and he began breathing.

EMS personnel in Raleigh quickly placed Solomon on a stretcher and transported him to nearby UNC REX hospital, where he underwent tests and medical staff observations.

UNC REX Healthcare posted on social media on Feb. 23, “Our good friend Ty Solomon of the S.C. State Bulldogs is doing great! He has returned to class and is on course to graduate with a degree in electrical engineering in May 2019.”

Contact the writer: mbrown@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5545. Follow on Twitter @MRBrownTandD.

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Staff Writer

Martha Rose Brown covers crime and other topics. The South Carolina native has been a journalist for the past 15 years.

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