Gym-goer having heart attack saved by AED

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- David Steinhauser is a survivor; He’s lucky to be alive after suffering a serious heart attack.

“I just thank God for the next day,” said David.

David's wife Julia can still remember the fear she felt last month when her phone rang. It was CHI Health Bergan Hospital, saying David, the man she first met on a dance floor dressed as Elvis - was suddenly barely clinging to life.

“I didn't want to lose him. It was too soon,” said Julie. “They told me his chance of survival was 1 in a million. That he could either be dead or a vegetable. It's very hard. Because he's not just the love of my life, he's my best friend.”

David collapsed during a cardio workout at Blue Moon Fitness. He stopped breathing. A fellow gym-goer and two staff members rushed to help. They performed CPR and used an automatic defibrillator to shock his heart.

Known as an AED, the small devices are often found in gyms, offices and even stores. The machine gives step by step instructions, allowing anyone to save a life.

David and his doctor, Dr. Matthew Kapalis, are certain the people who connected the AED to David kept him from dying.

“Because they responded so quickly, they were able to give him a good outcome. Not only is he back to his old self again, but he has good organ function,” said Kapalis.

“I just thank God for their intervention. They saved my life,” said David.