L.A. Fitness trainer saves man with CPR after heart attack - KMSP-TV

L.A. Fitness trainer saves man with CPR after heart attack

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  • INVESTIGATORS: Back from the dead

    INVESTIGATORS: Back from the dead

    Wednesday, November 13 2013 10:12 PM EST2013-11-14 03:12:09 GMT
    In a health crisis, the difference between life and death can depend on where catastrophe strikes -- but there is one Minnesota town that leads the nation when it comes to saving people from sudden cardiac arrest.
    In a health crisis, the difference between life and death can depend on where catastrophe strikes -- but there is one Minnesota town that leads the nation when it comes to saving people from sudden cardiac arrest.
RICHFIELD, Minn. (KMSP) -

Without any warning, a Twin Cities man collapsed at the gym after suffering a heart attack, but a quick-thinking trainer at L.A. Fitness in Richfield happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Personal trainer Chris Ransom had just learned CPR a few weeks ago, but he never thought he would have to use it. Now, he's being called a hero.

Saying 55-year-old Bill Richardson is in great shape is actually an understatement.

"I think this was going to be my 22nd Twin Cities Marathon," he said.

Yet, the unexpected happened when Richardson went to his gym for his usual walk and conditioning routine in early October.

"I saw Bill lie down here," Ransom demonstrated. "He was face down."

Ransom said Richardson was unconscious and wasn't breathing.

"As I flip him over on his back, his whole face was purple," he recalled.

So, he began to performed CPR.

"Just pushing down on the chest, getting the oxygen up from the lungs to the brain," Ransom explained.

That quick response bought Richardson enough time for the paramedics to arrive and do the rest.

"It takes a lot of courage to do what he did," Richardson said. "I think a lot of people would stand around, waiting for someone else to jump in there."

At the hospital, doctors said Richardson's heart attack was caused by two blocked arteries.

"They call what I had 'the widow maker' because most people don't' survive that," he said.

The close call could have had a very different outcome if it hadn't been for Ransom.

"I called him from the hospital and told him thanks for being my guardian angel," Richardson said.

After his experience, Ransom is now encouraging others to learn CPR.

"I'm just thankful that I had the opportunity that was given to me to learn the basics of saving someone's life," he said.

Richardson has since been advised to take at least a year off before running another marathon, but maybe Ransom will run the next one with him.

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