High school senior is feeling the #CrewStrong support from the state of Iowa

Austin Crew is in the choir at Spencer High School and enjoys singing. 

Brian Mozey

Austin Crew, a senior at Spencer High School, went to Storm Lake High School on Oct. 13 to cheer on the Spencer Tigers football team.

Crew, along with three of his friends, were in the bleachers when Spencer took and held onto their 17-14 lead until the final horn went off. After the win, Crew and his friends ran onto the field to celebrate the big win.

While running onto the field, Crew told his mother, Andrea Crew, later, he felt some pain in his chest when he was breathing. He didn’t worry about it at the time, so they decided to head out and was walking to Austin’s car.

As he reached the driver’s side, Austin collapsed.

He went into cardiac arrest.

His friends ran over to see his status and they saw him turning blue and gasping for breath. One of his friends was a lifeguard and knew something was wrong, so he had the paramedics from the football game come over to help Austin.

While they were working on Austin, one of his friends called Andrea, who was 45 minutes away. She picked up the phone and remembered the friend saying, “You need to come over here, Austin collapsed.”

In her mind, she thought he tripped or scraped his body from falling, but the friend then told her, “No, they’re doing chest compressions.”

“That’s something you never want to hear as a mother and being 45 minutes away,” Andrea said.

While Austin’s mother was coming, Austin was receiving CPR and would later be revived by a defibrillator before placed into an ambulance and taken to Buena Vista Regional Medical Center.

“The nurse [at the field] saved his life,” Andrea said. “You can definitely see the hand of God in this whole process.”

Once he was at the medical center, he was met by his parents and after a couple quick tests, the staff at Buena Vista recommended that he be flown to Sioux Falls for better treatment options for his situation.

They were flown by helicopter that Friday evening to Sioux Falls, but two days later, on Monday morning, they were flown by helicopter again to Iowa City.

Currently, that’s where Austin is located and will probably be until he’s able to go back home. As for his progress of health, it’s been a rollercoaster ride.

Saturday at Sioux Falls was a really bad day to the point where the nurses were preparing Austin’s family that he might go into respiratory failure. That Saturday evening, Spencer High School had a prayer vigil and Austin’s status became better and better.

“Every prayer helped and continues to help,” Andrea said.

Ever since that Saturday, Austin has had his ups and downs, but more positives than negatives.

Austin is one of the biggest Iowa State Cyclones fans in the entire state and possibly the country.

He goes to every home football game and most of the basketball games. He’s always wearing Cyclone gear to his high school. He bleeds Cardinal and Gold.

Due to his passion for Iowa State, the first question he asked when he reached Iowa City was, “Did the Cyclones win on Saturday?”

His family made sure to tell him yes because Austin has a tradition. After an Iowa State win on Saturday, he always wears Cyclone gear to school on Monday.

On Monday, his family made sure his Iowa State jersey was hung in his room and all his friends back at Spencer High School made sure to have the school wear Iowa State gear in honor of Austin.

That’s when Andrea realized how special this situation was because his story reached most of the state with a simple #CrewStrong that his brother, Ryan Crew, made. That hashtag reached people at Iowa State, specifically some of the athletes that Austin idolizes as a teenager.

Monday morning, Twitter blew up with #CrewStrong messages from people like Solomon Young, Donovan Jackson, Allen Lazard and so many other Cyclone athletes.

Andrea couldn’t believe the amount of support that was coming to Austin, but Austin wanted to make sure to thank everyone on Monday, so he created a video for Twitter.

Andrea said she’s shown some of the tweets from the Iowa State athletes and he’s cried because he can’t believe the support. Along with tweets, he’s received personal messages from players like Monte Morris.

“It’s been unbelievable the amount of support we’ve received from people we know and people we don’t know,” Andrea said. “I just want to thank everyone for their prayers because it’s definitely helping.”

The family is hoping within the next week or so, Austin will be able to get back home and finish out his senior year.

Once he’s out of the hospital, there’s one thing he really wants. 

An ice cold Mountain Dew. 

Austin is a social butterfly, according to his mother, so he participates in many activities like tennis, choir and theater. He was also named homecoming king a couple weeks ago for Spencer High School.

After high school, Austin wants to join his brother at Iowa State. Ryan is currently a junior in political science at Iowa State. 

His goal is to make it to the homecoming game on Oct. 28 against TCU, but Andrea and the family isn’t sure about that timetable. 

But no matter what, they’ll always be wearing the Cardinal and Gold. 

“We just want to say thank you to everyone because you’ve helped us get through this process,” Andrea said. “It’s been a true blessing.”