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Defibrillator, CrossFit Megalodon Coach Trained in CPR Saves 70-Year-Old Member’s Life

Defibrillator, CrossFit Megalodon Coach Trained in CPR Saves 70-Year-Old Member’s Life

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Earlier this month, just moments after he finished a masters class at CrossFit Megalodon in Venice, FL, Jack Carroll, a 70-year-old longtime member dropped to the floor, appearing to be in cardiac distress.   

  • “He had just finished the WOD. There were still a few people going, and he walked over to shake hands with a drop-in who had just arrived. Right then, he just dropped and was out. He was dead for about a minute,” said the gym’s owner William Lyman.

Luckily, the gym was equipped with an automated external defibrillator (AED), and Alex Moore, the coach who was handling the class, is a medic for Sarasota County.

What happened next: Moore immediately began a round of chest compressions, while a member ran to get the AED. 

  • “They administered a shock and then the coach did another round of chest compressions,” said Lyman, who witnessed the scene unfold.  
  • Within just a few minutes, paramedics arrived and the member had regained consciousness. 

One big thing: Without the AED and a coach who was trained to give chest compressions, Carroll most likely wouldn’t have survived, said Lyman, who invested in an AED in 2016 partly because his gym is located in an older community and he has members as old as 80. 

  • “The doctors said he’s a walking miracle..He had a 99 percent blockage, (which they call) a widow maker. It’s the hardest kind of heart attack to come back from,” Lyman said. 
  • Since his heart attack, the 70-year-old has had four stents put in and said he feels better than before, Lyman said. “He even came back (to the gym) today to say hi to everyone and let everyone know he was doing well,” he added. 

    Lyman’s message: If your gym doesn’t have an AED or staff trained in first aid, it’s time you take care of both, he urged.

    • “Make sure you have people in your gym that are trained to handle something like this. You might not get lucky and have a paramedic in the gym at the time, but I would make sure someone in the gym always knows how to handle an AED. Make it a top priority because you just don’t know if it’s going to happen to you,” said Lyman, who paid to have all his coaches go through first aid training. 
    • For gyms who don’t have the funds to purchase an AED, which cost in the neighbourhood of $1,500, go the rental route instead, Lyman suggested. He pays $25 to rent his AED, which is about to be replaced with a newer model.
    • Since the incident last week, Lyman is working on putting together another first aid class, which he will open up for any members interested in doing some hands on first aid training. 
    • Lyman added: “You just never imagine it’s something that can happen to you, but it can happen to anyone at any time…and our member wouldn’t have survived without it.”

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