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Cardiac nurse named Red Cross Good Samaritan Hero after saving man’s life at gym

Sybil Calhoun performs CPR on man

ROANOKE, Va. – Saving lives happens every day inside hospitals. That's to be expected, but a local nurse jumped into action off the clock, earning her the Red Cross Good Samaritan Hero Award.

Sybil Calhoun is usually wearing scrubs when she helps save patient's lives as a cardiac nurse.

Last November, she was in gym clothes on a Planet Fitness treadmill when she jumped into action.

Sybil Calhoun jumped into action and saved a man in cardiac arrest.
Sybil Calhoun jumped into action and saved a man in cardiac arrest. (Greg Moore)

“I was walking on the treadmill and all of a sudden I heard a loud bang, and I turned around, looked behind me and there was a man laying on the floor,” Calhoun said.

That man wasn't breathing and didn't have a pulse.

Planet Fitness General Manager Max Elliot recalls that scary moment his customer went down.

“I hear something drop like a bowling ball, somebody dropped the bowling ball and it hit the ground, “said Elliot. “Next thing you know, you're seeing some members panicking.”

Except for Calhoun, the cardiac nurse just a few treadmills away.

She knew exactly what to do.

“I started CPR and had two ladies that came over and assisted me and then the manager came over with the AED and we placed that on him,” Calhoun said.

“She was very authoritative with it, so she knew what she was doing, she had to have some background so we kind of went off what she did,” Elliot said.

“Well, there were a lot of thoughts going through my head, I was praying that he would come back, in my years of experience, that doesn't always happen and it was such an automatic response for me, and I was so grateful for the people around, willing to help, that doesn't always happen, and then when he came back, there was such a feeling of relief,” said Calhoun.

A relief for her, and a miracle for the patient that Sybil was even nearby.

“It was really miraculous that happened, and she was able to respond so quickly and help guide everybody along the way,” Elliot said.

“I was just very grateful that I was able to help him,” said Calhoun.


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