NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodBoise Bench


BSU student experiences a cardiac arrest in his sleep

Posted at 9:48 PM, Apr 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-13 23:48:56-04

  • On April 1st, in his sleep, Jake Nikolaisons experienced a cardiac arrest while in his dorm
  • His roommates Will and Phill quickly took action performing CPR and calling 911
  • Jake is currently recovering, going through physical therapy and regaining his memory
  • A GoFundMehas been set up for Jake and his family as they continue the recovery process

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

Three dorm mates were sound asleep in their suite when one roommate noticed something was wrong, I'm your neighborhood reporter Jessica Davis and roommates Will White and Phillip Crust performed lifesaving actions to keep their friend alive.

"There are areas where you don't have cell service and all you're thinking is like oh my god let me get to him let me get to him,” says Cathy Nikolaisons, Jake Nikolaisons's mom.

Jake Nikolaisons is a freshman at Boise State University his parents tell me he's been perfectly healthy his entire life until the morning of April 1st when Jake went into cardiac arrest.

"I’ve seen it happen to other people but seen it happen in the sports world but never I never thought that it would happen to me,” says Jake Nikolaison.

The warning signs came after Jake's roommate, Will, noticed he was making unusual noises in his sleep.

Will White, says, “At first, I thought it to be snoring and left it alone but after hearing it a little more is when I called is when I called out his name and tried to get his attention and didn't get a response from him.”

Will quickly checked for a pulse and noticed Jake wasn't breathing, so he grabbed their suitemate Phill and called 911.

Will continues, “Per instructions of the 911 operator got him on the floor and started doing CPR until the paramedics could arrive.”

After a defibrillator was used by a Boise State security guard, paramedics arrived Jake was taken to the hospital. His mother, driving 2 hours from Hailey Idaho, and his dad catching a flight from Tennessee.

Jake's dad, Villy Nikolaisons says, “I was supposed to meet Jake for breakfast because I have a mid-day flight, and on the way to Boise, I received a call from Cathy.”

"They called to tell me my son had a cardiac arrest and that he was being transported it's not any phone call.”

Jake not only went into cardiac arrest while in his dorm but on the way to the hospital as well. Prompting the medical team to put him under a 36-hour medically induced coma.

"For me, it was like having my baby again if that makes sense. He was reborn and you're not really aware of what the road is ahead because after the 36th hour of him coming back off the ventilator he did have another cardiac arrest,” says Cathy Nikolaisons.

Despite three cardiac arrests and a coma thankfully, Jake is still here, recuperating and working on fully regaining his memory and going through physical therapy.

Jake says, “Me, Will, and Phill we'll just hang out together when we're all home. I don't know I'm beyond thankful for them for what they've done for me I don't know how I could repay them it's amazing to see how much they care.”

Jake Nikolaisons is currently recovering and plans to leave the hospital on Monday, April 15. Jake and his family would like to thank everyone who has supported their family during this time, from Jake's roommates, fraternity brothers, hometown, and the first responders.

A GoFundMehas been set up for the family, to support them during Jake's recovery.