Cardiac Arrest Survivor Returns to the YMCA Where His Life Was Saved

Chuck Fields, a cardiac arrest survivor, works out at his local YMCA,
Chuck Fields, a cardiac arrest survivor, works out at his local YMCA,

In March 2011, Chuck Fields was working out at a YMCA in Evansville, Indiana when he suddenly collapsed due to cardiac arrest. Fortunately, Dr. Steve Elliot, a local physician and fellow Y member, was nearby and sprung to action. Dr. Elliott and Y staff revived Chuck with CPR and two defibrillator shocks delivered by a nearby AED. Two years later, Chuck has resumed exercising at his local Y and is speaking out about the importance of AEDs.

Chuck also received an implanted defibrillator following his cardiac arrest, which keeps him safe from future heart related incidents. However, Chuck wishes that AEDs were installed in all public environments such as schools and businesses to protect others. He says, “These seem like such a no-brainer investment to me” (Source).

Dr. Elliott is also a strong advocate for AEDs. He keeps one in his medical office, and praises the devices for their ease of use calling them the “treatment of choice”. Dr. Elliott was also revived once himself by defibrillation during a hernia surgery.

The Evansville YMCA has an AED on the premise in compliance with Indiana law that requires the devices in all health clubs. However, the Y acquired their first AED about 10 years ago following another cardiac arrest incident. In that situation, an AED was not available. Fortunately, the patient was revived with CPR, but Y administrators realized they might not be so lucky in the future. Kelly Boylls, the senior program director at the Downtown Evansville Y says that the device has saved three lives in the past decade.

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