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One year after suffering cardiac arrest, Bethel Park senior is back on par

| Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012, 8:59 p.m.
Cameron Lang, 18, of Bethel Park, poses on Hickory Hills Golf Course in Bridgeville on July 25, 2012. Cameron went into cardiac arrest when he was 17 years old. Gwen Titley | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Junior golfer Cameron Lang of Bethel Park has come back strong after missing most of last season with a heart problem.

Lang, 18, was first in his division at the Keystone's Premier Golf Association junior state championship July 23 at Birdsfoot Golf Course in Freeport.

He won a Keystone's Premier tournament at Butler's Golf Course in Elizabeth, and shot a 69, his best score of the season, at a Southwestern Pennsylvania Junior Golf Tour event at the Golf Club of Washington in Washington, Pa.

Playing for the first time out of state, he was disappointed when an American Junior Golf Association tournament in Cleveland was rained out.

“Cameron got the golf bug a few years ago; now he's really got it,” said Sam Depe, director of golf at Hickory Heights Golf Club in South Fayette, where Lang is a member. “You would never know anything was wrong with him.”

Previously in good health, Lang went into cardiac arrest while attending a concert at Stage AE on the North Shore in May 2011.

Zack Shahen, a friend who was with him, quickly alerted paramedics, who revived Lang with a portable defibrillator before rushing him to Allegheny General Hospital.

An internal cardiac defibrillator was inserted in his chest to correct the problem, and he has suffered no long-term medical effects.

“Cameron had an electrical problem, which is easy to correct,” said Chris Bonnet, a physician at Allegheny General who has treated Lang.

“There was no muscle damage. It's like a plumbing problem at your house — you fix the problem and you can still live there.

“Cameron was lucky to be around people (at the concert) who helped him right away.”

For their efforts, Shahen and the paramedics were honored at a Pirates game at PNC Park last August.

“Cameron talks about golf a lot,” Shahen, 17, said. “It's good seeing him play again.”

Lang will be a senior this fall at Bethel Park High School, where he has been a member of the boys varsity golf team the past two years.

“When Cameron called, one of the first things he told me was that he wasn't going to be able to play golf for awhile,” Bethel Park coach Jay Kreigline said.

“He couldn't swing a club, so he practiced his putting a lot. Now, he's a really good putter.”

Lang hopes to have a future in the sport.

“I want to play golf in college,” he said. “I knew I had to step up my game, which I had planned to do a year ago.

“I feel good and am happy to be back. I found how important golf is to me.”

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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