It was a normal day in late August at Evans Fitness Club until Joe Thompson started going into cardiac arrest.
That’s when personal trainer Austin Smith and managers David Barrett and Zoe Snook jumped into action. Their successful efforts to resuscitate Thompson by performing CPR and using a defibrillator were honored Friday by the CSRA Trauma Society.
Also honored at the awards ceremony at Evans Fitness was nurse Laura Newman, who performed CPR on 2-year-old Alayna Ishmael, who nearly drowned in a fountain at Augusta Mall on Aug. 28.
Thompson, who attended the ceremony, was working out on a treadmill when he suffered his attack.
The three heroes who helped save Thompson received CPR training from Greg Brooks, a paramedic, firefighter and trauma society member, but they never thought they’d have to use their lifesaving skills.
“You’d never think in a million years you’d use it,” Smith said. “I’m just happy I paid attention (during training).”
Barrett said Thompson’s face had turned blue by the time he returned with an automated external defibrillator that was stored on the gym’s wall.
“That’s probably the most afraid I’ve ever been,” he said.
Thompson underwent a quadruple bypass and was back in the gym 10 days later.