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The right place for a heart attack

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James Wyatt had no idea that he made a life-saving decision last summer. Instead of taking a solo run in the park, he opted for “Bonnie’s spinning class at the Center for HealthFitness in Voorhees,” says Wyatt.

Minutes after the class started, Wyatt, a long-time employee at Virtua Berlin, collapsed onto the floor. He had suffered cardiac arrest; it stopped his heart. Within seconds, the on-call Fitness Center cardiac team rushed to his side. They quickly assessed the situation, told everyone to stand back, and used a defibrillator to jolt Wyatt’s heart back to a beating rhythm.

“Everyone who works at our HealthFitness Centers in Washington Township and in Voorhees — from our environmental services staff to fitness instructors to me — knows how to administer CPR, and use the defibrillator,” explains Paula Konstantinides, RN, executive director of both facilities.

Virtua is prepared for these emergencies that can sometimes be triggered by an underlying or unknown cardiac condition. Both health fitness facilities also offer cardiac rehabilitation for those with known disease. Virtua’s Health- Fitness Centers focus on a medically integrated approach to fitness with special programs and degreed fitness trainers.

Wyatt says: “When I’m finished my cardiac rehab here in Voorhees, I can’t wait to get back into my spinning class. This time, I may take it a little bit slower.”

Learn how to save a life using only your hands.  Visit the American Heart Association's "Hands Only CPR" page.