March 15 started like any other Friday at Grapevine CrossFit. A number of customers were working out. The owner, Brandon, was there along with Jordan, a trainer, and Matt, a physical therapist.
A airline pilot was completing his workout, unaware that he had a 90% blockage in his left anterior descending artery (often referred to as the widow-maker).
After finishing his workout, the pilot asked Jordan for a bottled drink, and pulled his wallet out to pay. As he was pulling a dollar bill from his wallet, his heart stopped beating, and he fell to the ground with a thud.
Brandon heard the fall, ran to the scene, called 911, and grabbed both Matt and the Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Within 30 seconds, Matt had attached the AED to the pilot’s chest. A shock was issued and Matt began CPR. Shortly thereafter, the pilot’s heart regained normal rhythm, and he came back to life.
The paramedics arrived minutes later, and took the pilot to the hospital where he received two stents. He is alive and well today!
Grapevine CrossFit had purchased an AED four years ago, after hearing about multiple cases of heart attacks and deaths at CrossFits worldwide.
At the time, Brandon was on the fence about deploying an AED. He didn’t know if he would ever really need the device, and he didn’t know if it would be worth the investment. His worldview has now fully changed, and he pleads to the owners of other fitness centers, “If you don’t have an AED, get one. Sudden cardiac arrest is likely to eventually happen to one of your members, and every day is one step closer to day zero.”