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3 doctors jump into action at Cleveland gym to save new dad's life after cardiac arrest

Cleveland Heights man thankful
bystanders help save life
Posted at 5:26 PM, Oct 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-05 18:51:22-04

CLEVELAND — Elias Abou Nassif was recently working out at the gym when he collapsed. The 44-year-old was riding a bike when his vision went blurry and he went into cardiac arrest.

“I think if I was at a place other than the gym where I was, I couldn’t have survived the accident,” explained Nassif.

That’s because three doctors, also working out at the gym, performed CPR on him for seven minutes and then used the gym’s automated external defibrillator (AED) on him to bring back a heartbeat.

“Clearly the most important thing for him was the bystander CPR. This is really an important public health message,” said Dr. Amar Krishnaswamy, a Cleveland Clinic Doctor.

Krishnaswamy said without CPR, less than 10% of people survive cardiac arrest. Krishnaswamy said Nassif had a blocked coronary artery which required a stent.

“I feel very lucky, very lucky,” said Nassif. Nassif thinks all public places should have automated external defibrillators.

The Tremont Athletic Club has one AED at each of its locations. The staff is trained but had never used it before.

“It saved someone’s life,” said Armando Arellano, the manager of Tremont Athletic Club.

Nassif, who is mechanical engineer and a new dad, now plans to learn CPR.

“I appreciate life more now and realize life is very fragile," Nassif said. "I’m so thankful to everyone who helped save my life."

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