Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Save Stories in Gyms and Athletics

September 02, 2020 | Last Updated: July 27, 2021

Bill Sick and Shawn Sima

Bill was exercising on the elliptical at his local gym when he saw 16-year-old Lexi fly backwards off her treadmill. She had collapsed due to Sudden Cardiac Arrest and, for the next 10 minutes until the ambulance arrived, Bill and other lay rescuers in the gym worked to save her life. Listen to Bill discuss this rescue in a conversation with Lexi’s father, Shawn, who is not only a tireless advocate for SCA education but also has saved a life from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. 

Mike Papale

Mike was a normal and healthy 17-year-old guy in high school. He grew up in a basketball family and his dream was to play collegiate basketball. Throughout high school, Mike had worked tirelessly on his performance, and scouts were finally starting to take notice. Everything seemed to be heading in the right direction until the morning of Thursday, August 24, 2006.

Mike describes that morning as, “just like any other.” He completed a pretty tough workout in the morning, and afterwards went to help out at his dad’s basketball camp, where he was a coach. When he got to camp, he sat on a bench and that’s the last thing he remembers from the next three days of his life. That’s because, after he sat down, Mike slumped over and went into Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).

Cardiac arrest in gyms and amongst athletes is not a rare occurrence. Check out these staggering fitness SCA and AED facts.


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