Cardiac arrest survivor saved by bystanders encourages others to get CPR training

Updated: Oct. 16, 2019 at 6:05 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A cardiac arrest survivor was saved thanks to the quick actions of some bystanders at the Richmond International Airport. She now hopes to encourage others to receive the possibly life-saving training to help others.

In the United States, 350,000 people suffer from cardiac arrest every year but only one in ten survive.

Elle Marks is alive today thanks to an automated external defibrillator or AED.

In 2017, Marks was at the Richmond International Airport for a flight.

“They finally called my flight and I went and had my ticket scanned, and went through and starting walking to the plane and that was the last thing I remember until I woke up in the hospital...I suffered a sudden cardiac arrest,” Marks said.

The Richmond airport has AEDs all over the building placed in strategic areas throughout the airport.

Douglas Martin is the Captain of the Aircraft Rescue and Fire-Fighting Unit for Richmond International.

“We have between two to five people go into cardiac arrest here at the airport every year,” Martin said.

There are 11 AEDs scattered throughout the terminal. They also offer CPR and AED training for airport employees.

“The more we train, the better we are. In all of my classes I tell everyone, do something, don’t just stand there, do something, to save a person. I hope that if I went down somebody would do something to save me,” Martin said.

It’s an important lesson, that saved Marks’ life.

“I was a runner. A month before my cardiac arrest I had my physical. Blood pressure, cholesterol, everything was all bells and whistles, I passed with flying colors...people need to be aware that a cardiac arrest can to anybody at any given moment, at any given time," Marks said.

The American Heart Association is taking registration for the CPR Mobile Tour on Oct. 21. You can Call 12 at 804-345-1212 until 6:30 p.m. or register for other classes, HERE.

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