Evansville native Ian Parker is a medical student at Ross University School of Medicine down in Miramar, Florida. He and a classmate recently had the opportunity to put their knowledge to use in a real world, life and death situation.

Ian Parker
Ian Parker

Ian and his friend, Muhammad Aboghanim, were working out in different areas of the gym. Muhammad was on one of the treadmills, when he noticed the man next to him kinda struggling a bit. Seeing someone breathing heavily, or struggling to catch their breath is not a completely uncommon thing to see at a fitness center. Muhammad didn't think much of it, at first, but kept an eye on his cardio neighbor. What happened next definitely got Muhammad's attention - he says "I looked over and saw him flat on his back, shriveled with his arms up. At first, I thought he was cooling down because he was really into the workout but then I saw his glasses fall away. He was biting on his tongue, had agonal breathing and was starting to turn blue. I couldn’t find his pulse."

Muhammad then called out for Ian to come help. Right off the bat, they were able to successfully use the automated external defibrillator (AED), but they noticed the man beginning to turn blue again. They elevated his legs, pushed his jaw forward, and began administering CPR. They continued doing rounds of CPR for about 45 minutes, until an ambulance arrived.

Thanks to their quick thinking and decisive actions, the man survived. It certainly seems like this story could have had a much different ending if Ian and Muhammad weren't there. Muhammad said the man actually returned to the gym just a few days later, hoping to thank the two young men that saved his life. He said, “I was shocked to see him standing on his own. That was everything; it was very rewarding.”

Thanks to Jen Beshansky from Ross University School of Medicine for sharing this awesome story with us!

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