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Gym staff credited with saving man's life

Posted at 4:39 PM, Apr 06, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- Quick-acting staff at a local gym are credited with saving a man's life after he had a heart attack while playing basketball Monday night.

The man, a 62-year-old, suddenly fell to the floor. 

Sales manager Elizabeth Price retraced her steps after hearing of a man down and unconscious on the basketball court. She can barely speak as a result of performing CPR Monday at the Lifetime Fitness near 96th and Meridian. 

"Immediately, I saw that he was aspirating and I knew that wasn't breathing," she said. 

Elizabeth then found that he did not have a heart beat. 

"He was gone, he was gone," she said, "When you're looking at someone who's down like this, it occurs to you, they may never wake up, and you're the one who's going to be the chance they have."

Elizabeth activated the AED. 

"When that happened, it shocked him, it's like real, this is going down," she said. 

Trainer Derek Kunzman ran in to help. 

"Elizabeth and I kind of, we didn't verbally talk much, we knew I was going to do compressions and she was going to do the breathing," he said. 

Two shocks later, there was a pulse, just in time for paramedics who arrived on scene. 

"He would have died. They saved his life," witness Craig Williams said. 

And they acted calm under pressure. More than five years certified, Elizabeth has never had to use the AED. However, she did perform CPR on her dad two decades ago. 

"Immediately I saw the same thing that I saw with my father," she said. 

A moment on Monday that will never go away. 

"I had nightmares. The nightmares about everything went wrong, the AED didn't work," she said. 

But it did. 

"I knew we did it, we got him," Elizabeth said. 

The American Heart Association says cardiac arrest survival rates increase if CPR and an AED are used within three to five minutes of collapse. 

State law also requires staffed health clubs to have an AED and a person certified to use it in the facility. As for the victim, he is alive and well at St. Vincent Hospital, where he is listed in good condition. 

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