MIDLAND, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – This week, the Bush Tennis Center in Midland welcomed special guest, former professional tennis player Murphy Jensen to host clinics with the Midland ISD tennis programs and special education programs.
Jensen won the 1993 French Open doubles championship with his partner and brother Luke Jensen.
But it was a near-death experience in 2021 that changed Jensen’s life.
Less than two years ago, shortly after visiting Midland, Jensen, while visiting the Garden of the Gods in Colorado in support of his brother, suffered a cardiac arrest on a tennis court while playing. Jensen did not have a heartbeat for 18 minutes, while off-duty medical professionals performed live-saving measures, performing CPR and administering shocks through an AED.
Jensen was in a coma for six days following the incident, with his loved ones unsure if he would ever be the same.
“Because of lack of oxygen to the brain, I was a candidate to have brain damage, permanent brain damage,” Jensen said.
Once Jensen got out of the coma, he was unable to walk or speak and spent the following nine days in the hospital doing incremental recovery.
Fast forward two years, Jensen has made a full recovery and still spends lots of time on the tennis court. He has devoted the past two years to inspiring change and teaching young tennis players through a new lens.
“No one’s making me do it, I’m doing it because I’ve learned to live my life today, every day, like it’s my last,” Jensen said.
From humble beginnings in Northern Michigan to winning a Grand Slam tournament, Jensen said he hopes to impart wisdom on and off the court to the next generation of the sport.
Since his episode in 2021, Jensen has become an advocate for AED access and CPR training, testifying before Congress alongside Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who also suffered a cardiac arrest playing his sport during the 2022-23 NFL season.
“I look to be useful and helpful in everything I do, and I got that from everything I’ve gone through and grown through. And that’s the message I hope to bring to Midland,” Jensen said.