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My Damar Hamlin Story

For those that do not know the story, a pro football player named Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest during a game. It was a routine play where Hamlin (who plays defense) tackled the receiver and dragged him down. Then, popped right back up and before the next play resumed, Hamlin collapsed. Anybody watching knew something was wrong. Medical personnel rushed on the field and administered CPR for 9 minutes. 9 MINUTES! They were able to restore normal heart rhythm and he was rushed to the hospital. Thanks to the medical team, he was discharged after a week. Watching this unfold, it brought back memories of a similar situation that happened to me.

About 900 Americans die every day due to sudden cardiac arrest

I was working for a commercial gym and had been training this client for years. Then, one morning as I was training him I told him to grab some water during our break. As I turned around, I saw him stumbling and next thing I know he was on the floor unconscious with water coming out of his mouth. It was a look I will never forget. My immediate reaction was to administer CPR and call 911. I remember yelling across the gym to get the front desk staff's attention. I don't recall how long I was pressing, but it seemed like eternity as I was calling his name and doing countless compressions without any response. Then, his breath came back and next thing I know the paramedics tapped me on my shoulder. "We got it from here. You did well." The client was rushed to the hospital and turns out he needed a pacemaker placed immediately. I talked to the cardiologist who performed the surgery (I waited for the surgery to be completed) and he said his heart could have stopped at any given time. Not exercise-related, just happened to be in a gym surrounded by tons of people. From the client's standpoint, it was a blessing in disguise because it could have happened when he was behind the wheel or at home alone.

So when they advertise CPR as "Get trained. Save a life. You'll be glad." I can attest that I am one that used my skill to its full benefit.

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