Personal Trainer

Nurse, Personal Trainer & Bystanders Save Man in Gym

Posted by cocreator on December 28, 2010
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All Steve Holland, 68, of Long Grove, remembers about Nov. 1 is that he stepped onto a treadmill at Midtown Athletic Club in Palatine, plugged in his head phones … and woke up at the hospital.


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To fill in the hours-long gap, he suffered a cardiac arrest, stopped breathing after he was collapsed while exercising, and was brought back to life by one friend and two strangers, who now are being honored for their quick thinking.

“I’m very thankful to be alive, but that’s about it …,” said Holland, not one for the limelight.

His friend, Linda Kleiss, a nurse practitioner, was working out nearby and saw him fall.

“It’s just one of those stories that we all can learn from,” Kleiss said. And they have — several witnesses have since become CPR-certified and learned how to use a defibrillator, she said.

“I was honored to be able to help out and it was a fantastic outcome and that’s rare,” she said. “No, hero. I had lots of help. It was a team effort.”

Holland ran a mile on the track that Monday morning before getting on the treadmill at about 6 a.m.

“I remember that morning perfectly well up until the incident,” he said. “I was perfectly fine and I was just getting on the treadmill to watch TV for a while.”

Tim Kirby, of Long Grove, a regular at the club, was on a nearby machine watching ESPN when out of the corner of his eye he saw Holland, a stranger to him, “fling off a treadmill.” He yelled out “does anyone know CPR” and “call 911” and ran over to Holland. He breathed into his mouth while Kleiss did chest compressions.

“His eyes were fixed and dilated,” Kirby said. “I have never seen anything like it before in my life. He had no pulse and no heart rate.”

Within moments, fitness director Neil Wywialowski, who was teaching a kinesis class when he heard his name being called out, ran over with an Automated External Defibrillator. He attached the paddle-like censors to Holland’s chest, which instantly registered that he needed “immediate shock now.”

Wywialowski triggered the charges and after what seemed like forever to those around Holland, he began breathing.

“Neil showed up and pushed the button to administer the shock,” Kirby said. “It was like his body was reviving. We saw on the defibrillator he had a heart rate. That was very, very exciting to us.”

Kirby, a vice president of a software company and father of five, said he had trained in CPR while a youth basketball coach, but had never had to use it.

“You never want to see that happen,” Kirby said. “It is a miracle he came back to life.”

The Palatine Fire Department acknowledges the trio’s actions as exactly what is taught by the American Heart Association and is why Holland is still alive, said Paul Wallace, division chief.

“Good quality CPR and early defibrillation is the one proven treatment for cardiac arrest,” said Wallace.

Wywialowski, who has worked at the club for 17 years and said the defibrillator has saved eight lives in that time, said the accolade is “really unnecessary” and that “we are fortunate it was a positive outcome.”

“I don’t feel that I was hero. It is something that anybody else would have done in my situation,” he said. “There were a lot of things that went right here.”

About two weeks later, Holland had a heart valve replacement and bypass surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. He’s now back at the health club. While he shuns the attention, he said he hopes what happened leads to more awareness of the need for people to learn CPR and for more businesses to own and train employees in using defibrillators.

“If some good could come of this … it’s just an issue there where people were prepared and the club was prepared and things turned out well,” he said. “If they hadn’t been trained and prepared, things may have turned out very differently.”

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Club Members & Staff Save Elderly Man

Posted by cocreator on December 01, 2010
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Quick action and team work are being credited with saving the life of a 70-year-old man at Germantown Athletic Club.


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About 7:15 a.m., club members noticed the man fall over while sitting at a table. Club employee Teresa Martin told staff to call 911 while she ran to get an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

“He didn’t have a pulse and was totally unresponsive. A few club members gave CPR while we got the AED,” said Martin, a club customer service representative.

Personal trainer David Allen placed the AED on the unresponsive man and one shock was given to the heart.

“It saved his life. That first shock is what brought him back,” Martin said.

Club members and employees continued CPR until paramedics arrived within four minutes of the call. The man received additional shocks en route to the hospital and is expected to recover.

“I’d had training in using the AED, so I placed the AED pads on the man’s chest, followed the directions from the machine and pushed the button to deliver the shock,” Allen said. “It was a relief when he started breathing again.”

“The effort put forth to save this person’s life was extraordinary,” said fire department battalion chief Lou Correale, who responded to the emergency. “The quick response of the citizens and the actions of Germantown Athletic Club employees were vital to his survival. Teresa, David and several others were able to keep this man alive through the use of the City’s AED and heroic CPR efforts.”

“If employees and citizens had not reacted in such a professional manner, our chance of reviving this patient would have been greatly diminished. Even a building maintenance employee was assisting us by clearing the exit route and holding the doors open. The efforts to save this man’s life were truly a cooperative effort.”

“We have a total of 11 in our facilities and today marks the first time an AED was used in a city facility,” Robbins said. “Although AED’s are only required in federal buildings, the City of Germantown felt it was the right thing to do to install AED’s in our public buildings. Today proved it was worth the effort.”

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Gym Trainers Save Elderly Man on Threadmill

Posted by cocreator on July 21, 2010
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Kathy Margiasso, the fitness director at Mount Kisco Athletic Club, and another personal trainer were waiting for their 9 a.m. appointments last week when a member came running toward them.


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“Someone fell off the treadmill,” Margiasso said was the urgent message.

Margiasso’s initial instinct was to grab the first aid kit, thinking it might be a case of scrapes and bruises, but then fellow trainer Val Yasovic told her the person was unconscious.

Kathy Margiasso the Saviour

Kathy Margiasso the Saviour

Turns out a 64-year-old man had suffered a heart attack while working out on the treadmill. Margiasso said she quickly “turned back around,” and got the Automatic External Defibrillator, or AED, and told manager Tom Brady to call 911.

“Immediately what I did was just open the AED and put the pads on his chest, and the AED analyzed immediately and said there was a shock advised,” Margiasso said. “I did one shock and then we started CPR.”

Brady said Margiasso and Yasovic were in sync.

“She and Val worked as a team to save that guy’s life,” said Brady, noting that one trainer was operating the defibrillator and then together they did three cycles of CPR with Margiasso doing compressions and Yasovic the breaths.

Margiasso said the victim’s legs then started to move “and there were signs of life” so she stopped. By this point, police, EMTs and an ambulance had arrived at the 151 Kisco Ave. club

The club would not release the name of the member who was stricken but said he was stabilized at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco and then brought to the cardiac unit at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla where he underwent double bypass surgery the following day.

Margiasso said Tuesday she was proud of herself and the staff for remaining calm and grateful that everyone in the gym is trained to do CPR and use the AED. In fact, Margiasso is the one who trains them.

“I’m thrilled that when it comes time to put (to use) the skills that we practice over and over again, that we were able to do it,” she said.

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Gym Trainer Saves Man during Workout

Posted by cocreator on December 10, 2009
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Jack Swem had just started his Wednesday morning workout last week at Sports Fitness & Fun on Route 17A in Florida when he passed out and began shaking on the floor.

Thinking that the 57-year-old was suffering from a seizure, trainer Jason Sanchez cleared the area around him and went to get a defibrillator.

Swem’s shaking stopped, and he seemed to be breathing, but a weak pulse signaled Sanchez to spring into action.

Relying on his training, the 27-year-old former swimming coach at Middletown High School worked methodically, first placing the pads on Swem’s chest, waiting for the shock, then administering CPR, and then holding Swem’s head up to let air in.

But it didn’t work. Swem was still unconscious.

So Sanchez initiated the procedure again, and then one more time, until — to his relief — Swem’s heart rhythm jolted back to normal.

By the time emergency workers arrived, Swem, a single dad, was looking around groggily.

The incident happened just about two weeks before Swem’s birthday. Thanks to Sanchez, the father will live to celebrate it with his 10-year-old son.

“Once it was over, and he was alive, it was the best feeling,” Sanchez said.

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Paramedic & Personal Trainer Save Man in Gym

Posted by cocreator on May 02, 2009
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We will be reporting on lives saved around the world since our first documented life saved here in Singapore.

Metro West Ambulance paramedic was honored April 21 for his efforts in giving cardio-pulmonary resuscitation to a man who collapsed March 12 during a workout at the LA Fitness on Imbrie Drive in Hillsboro.

Brandon “Bubba” Klocko was off duty and working out at the club when he noticed a commotion on the second floor.

He found David Ross lying unconscious and not breathing, with little or no pulse.

Klocko began CPR while LA Fitness personnel responded with an automatic external defibrillator and called 911.

Ross regained consciousness and was treated by paramedics from Metro West and the Hillsboro Fire Department who responded to the scene.

Ross was driven to Providence St. Vincent’s hospital for further evaluation.

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