Personal trainer Travis Roche had to put his first aid skills to the ultimate test when a client went into cardiac arrest and stopped breathing.
"As I got closer I noticed bleeding from his head and it was obvious he had hit his head as he had fallen," Mr Roche said yesterday.
"He seemed unconscious but there was some movement in his legs and he seemed to be gasping for breath.
"I tried to get a response from him, but he didn't respond. It was then I realised that something serious was wrong and I guess that's where my first aid training kicked in."
Just weeks before, Mr Roche had completed his first aid training - a requirement for registered personal trainers.
"The information that I had received in my course was spot on," the Anytime Fitness employee said.
"Although there was spasms in his legs and gasping-type breath, I quickly realised that his chest was not moving.
"I couldn't really believe this was happening but I just kept thinking I have to do something to save this guy."
Mr Roche called for the defibrillator and asked his workmate at the Corrimal gym to call for an ambulance.
"With the help of another client I got the patient onto his back and I started delivering chest compressions. There was some blood on his face so I kept going with compressions without delivering any breaths."
The latest First Aid training suggests fast, aggressive compressions, without any breaths.
"We turned the defibrillator on and it talked us through what we had to do next," Mr Roche said.
"We tore open the patient's shirt, applied the defibrillation pads and waited.
"After a few seconds the defibrillator said we needed to deliver a shock.
"We kept clear and then pushed the shock button. The shock was delivered and we saw the patient jolt as the shock went through his body."
The defibrillator said to continue CPR so Mr Roche recommenced compressions.
"After what seemed like ages, I noticed that some things were changing with the patient, his colour was changing back to a pinkish colour, he seemed to be moaning with every compression and his chest seemed to start moving by itself," he said.
"I thought, 'wow he's coming back to life'.
"I stopped compressions and placed the patient on his side. He was still unconscious but I had a feeling that he could hear me. I stayed with him and kept talking to him, telling him he would be OK."
Soon the ambulance arrived and took over treatment.
"I couldn't believe what I was seeing. A person going from someone training on a treadmill, to being dead, to coming back to life."
The man had cardiac surgery and will make a full recovery.
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