Gym instructors save life of man, 25, who went into cardiac arrest on treadmill

Amar Raithatha, 25, who recently survived a cardiac arrest

Amar Raithatha, 25, who recently survived a cardiac arrest - Credit: Archant

A man who went into cardiac arrest while working out at the gym is thanking the instructors who saved his life.

Fullwell Cross Leisure Centre in Barkinside

Fullwell Cross Leisure Centre in Barkinside - Credit: Archant

Amar Raithatha’s heart stopped twice and the 25-year-old was put into a coma by doctors but against all the odds he has made a full recovery.

He was in the gym at Fullwell Cross Leisure Centre in High Street, Barkingside, after work as normal when he collapsed in February.

Amar, who was 24 at the time, said: “I hadn’t been there for very long, about 15 minutes, and the next thing I remember is waking up in hospital days later.

“No one knows if I stepped off the treadmill or fell but I was found by someone else in the gym on the floor unconscious.

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“They called an ambulance and the staff gave me CPR and that kept me alive until the paramedics arrived.

“They weren’t sure if I would make it.”

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The gym attendants called lifeguards from the pool into help them and for seven minutes they kept Amar alive.

His heart stopped once in the gym and paramedics shocked him with a defibrillator, then again in the ambulance.

The chances of surviving a cardiac arrest outside hospital are low and Amar believes the quick thinking of gym staff saved his life.

He said: “For the paramedics and doctors it’s their job to do what they do but they had so much praise for the gym attendants.

“If they hadn’t done that I wouldn’t be here.”

Amar, of Jarrow Road, Chadwell Heath, is on the road to recovery and working part-time in his old job as an MOT tester in East Ham.

He celebrated his 25th birthday with family and friends last month – an emotional occasion that looked unlikely weeks before.

After doctors in intensive care at Queen’s Hospital, Romford, put him in an induced coma for three days, they warned his family of the effect it could have.

In a cardiac arrest, the heart stops pumping blood around the body and casualties become unconscious and lose a pulse within seconds.

Those who survive if often suffer brain damage because of the depleted oxygen supply.

Amar said: “The doctors told my parents that when I came out of it I might not be able to speak, I might not be able to walk, I might not be able to do anything.”

A mini defibrillator has been put in his heart to monitor its rhythm and shock it in the event of another cardiac arrest.

Since coming out of hospital, Amar has revisited the gym at Fullwell Cross to thank the instructors, who were kept updated about his condition by family members.

He is still coming to terms with his incredible survival.

“It’s a strange feeling – it took some getting used to but I’m just thankful to be here,” he said.

Amar has named his “heroes” as: Courtney White, Nicola Winter, Ricky Mcgivney, Jewell Ali, James Bell, Billie-Jo Lindfield and Charlotte Bolton.

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