Cardiac arrest survivor thanks his rescuers

By Yvette Yeon - bio | email

HENRICO COUNTY, VA (WWBT) - Ronald Johnson is trying to remember all the names of those who had a part in saving his life.

It's been two weeks since this 53-year-old Chesterfield resident stepped foot into American Family Fitness in Short Pump. That morning Johnson was just finishing his work out of leg presses, squats, and a few rounds on the track. He was cooling down when all of a sudden he felt something he never felt before.

"Once I did my cool down, all of a sudden an overwhelming dizziness hit me and I don't remember anything else I just went down," said Johnson.

At that moment the odds were against Johnson. The average survival rate of someone who suffers from cardiac arrest outside of the hospital is just 7 percent. Some say this was his lucky day.

Call it coincidence, but there happened to be three off duty EMT's and a CPR instructor working out that morning - four guys who knew exactly what to do and acted quickly before the paramedics arrived."

"Somebody came running down the stairs and said somebody collapsed, so I asked that person 'are they breathing' and he said 'I don't know', I said, 'I'm certified instructor of CPR', he said, 'come with me,'" said guest gym member, James Balta.

Johnson sits in the front row as everyone who played a key role in the rescue was recognized at the Henrico Doctor's hospital.

Twenty-three people in total from 911 call takers, to the off duty responders, American Family Fitness Employees, and one guest.

"They gave me a second chance on life; I was blessed by God to have those people be in the right place at the right time,"

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