Mom, daughters rush to save man who collapsed at gym

Mom, daughters rush to save man who collapsed at gym (Image 1)
Mom, daughters rush to save man who collapsed at gym (Image 1)

A North Carolina mother and her daughters saved a man's life at a gym after his heart stopped working while he was on the treadmill.

WTVD-TV reports Merrie Gough and her daughters ended up at the gym on a whim after planning a girl's day and running a few errands.

While inside Anytime Fitness, Carlos Ruiz collapsed and fell off the treadmill, landing on his head.

“For all practical purposes, my heart had stopped and I was dead,” said Ruiz.

The family jumped in to help.  Gough quickly ran to Ruiz's side while one daughter helped her and the other called 911.

Fortunately for Ruiz, Gough is a registered nurse and both of her daughters are studying medicine in school, the news station reports.

“He was unresponsive, wasn't breathing and had no pulse,” said Gough. “We opened the airway and started basic life support for him.”

The women performed CPR for a few minutes until emergency personnel arrived.

“If she hadn't of started to work on me immediately, I probably wouldn't have made it,” said Ruiz.

When his heart failed, no one else was inside the cardio area of the gym since it happened early on a Sunday morning.

“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,” Ruiz said.

The news station says Ruiz is doing well, taking time off work to recuperate and has even started working out again at his doctor's orders to get his strength back.

*WTVD-TV contributed to this report.

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