April 24, 2017
Roger Velasquez is thankful to be alive, and in March, he showed his appreciation to the team who helped save him.
A year ago, Velasquez collapsed and went into cardiac arrest during a spin class at the Las Palmas LifeCare Center, which offers public fitness classes for the community. Among the people in class with Velasquez were a few trained medical professionals who immediately took action to resuscitate him until EMS arrived.
Velasquez, who has a medical condition called Atrial Fibrillation (or A fib) that causes an irregular heart beat, has attended the LifeCare Center for many years and had recently taken up spin classes.
The day Velasquez collapsed, Michelle Zapanta, fitness instructor of the spin class, noticed something was wrong. When Velasquez started to wobble, she grabbed him and tried to prevent him from falling, but the bike kept spinning and they went down together. After his collapse, employees from Las Palmas Medical Center, who happened to be in the spin class, began CPR immediately and used a defibrillator to restart his heart.
Don Karl, chief executive officer at Las Palmas Medical Center, was also in the class during the incident, and he stopped by Velasquez’s hospital room later that afternoon to check on him.
Velasquez says he will never forget the heroic actions of the team that day, including the great care and kindness from everyone at Las Palmas Medical Center.
KFOX-TV recently shared news of the patient reunion.