An Illinois man is now speaking out about the fellow patrons who sprang into action to save his life after he collapsed amid a workout in December.
Brain Kuhn, 61, works out up to six times a week at the Anytime Fitness in Lake in the Hills near his home, WGN-TV reported.
“At 20 minutes on the bike, I felt my heart miss a beat,” Kuhn told WGN-TV. “I didn’t even make a full rotation with the pedals, that’s when you see me on the video totally collapsing.”
Tim Gagnon was on a treadmill nearby when he saw Kuhn collapse.
“There was somebody walking by I asked to come help me flip him over,” Gagnon told WGN-TV. “We flipped him over I could see he wasn’t breathing.”
A woman in the gym called 911 while Gagnon started CPR and continued compressions for three minutes until paramedics arrived. Another man grabbed a defibrillator and helped out as well.
“If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be able to do our jobs which is the biggest step in the chain of survival,” said Huntley Fire Protection Lt. Kelly Gitzke. “Somebody else starting CPR early and early access to 911.”
Kuhn was rushed to the hospital. He had suffered sudden cardiac arrest after a heart arrhythmia. At the hospital, Kuhn was told what else doctors discovered: a more than 90% blockage in three of his arteries. Kuhn underwent open-heart surgery the next day.
Three weeks later, he was back at the gym. In February, Kuhn was honored with a special ceremony at the Huntley Fire Protection District. He was able to thank the people who helped him, including Gagnon.
“It was hard holding back tears,” Kuhn said. “It was extremely emotional to meet the guy that saved my life.”
Gagnon was glad he did not forget the CPR training.
“It’s pretty incredible it really is,” he said. “I never thought I’d have to use it, but knowing I did and this was the outcome — well worth everything.”
Huntley fire officials encouraged more people sign up for CPR training, WGN-TV reported.