“We Opened the Airway and Started Basic Life Support for Him”

On a Sunday in January 2014, Carlos Ruiz, age 57, suffered heart failure and fell off the treadmill he was on at the Anytime Fitness gym in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Fortunately, Merrie Gough, a registered nurse, walked into the gym. She was accompanied by her daughters: Danielle, a dental school student, and Elizabeth, a nursing student. Mr. Ruiz said, “I give thanks to my Lord and savior, Jesus Christ, for putting this family in that position to be able to save me. Because if not, I really shouldn’t and wouldn’t have been here today.” Merrie Gough said, “He was unresponsive, wasn’t breathing and had no pulse. We opened the airway and started basic life support for him.” One of her daughters called 911, and Mr. Ruiz was taken to a local hospital. The gym’s manager, Anna Yeager, said, “He was lucky that the three individuals walked in when they did.” She added, “He was very lucky. He very easily could have been there and no one would have seen him.” Members have a key that gives them access to the gym 24 hours a day. Mr. Ruiz said, “Today, I have an opportunity, a second chance, to move on with my life and make a difference. I am very lucky to be alive.”

 For Further Information: “Mom, Daughters Save Man’s Life at Gym.” ABC News. 28 February 2014


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