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“My angel:” Nurse jumped into action, saving man’s life after he collapsed at the gym

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GERMANTOWN -- A man's life was saved by a stranger at the gym. This is a story about the importance of being trained in CPR.

"A white splash of light went through my eyes. I had no pulse, no heartbeat for five minutes," George Liberatore said.

The 72-year-old was at Anytime Fitness on February 4th -- minutes into a cardio routine on an elliptical machine when he collapsed. He was experiencing cardiac arrest.

George Liberatore

George Liberatore

"The next thing I remember is being loaded up into the ambulance," Liberatore said.

There's no question he is alive today because of the quick action of a stranger who was on a treadmill nearby.

"There`s a man lying in between two ellipticals. I didn`t even think twice. It`s just -- you go help," Brittany Sabin said.

Sabin was in the right place at the right time. She is a cardiovascular ICU nurse at Aurora St. Luke's Hospital.

Brittany Sabin

Brittany Sabin

"And that young lady is just my angel. No question about it," Liberatore said.

She started CPR and even trained another stranger at the gym to help.

"You go two inches deep and go to the snap of my finger. I was going to the song 'Staying Alive' and that`s how he did it," Sabin said.

After a frightening five minutes, Sabin got Liberatore's heart beating again. It's a scenario Sabin said she never thought she'd face outside work -- and a clear reminder for all of us about the importance of being certified in CPR.

CPR

"Not just nurses save lives. People in the community do every day -- so go get CPR certified," Sabin said.

"I can`t thank her enough. She saved my life. She will forever be in my heart and prayers," Liberatore said.

Anytime Fitness

Anytime Fitness

Liberatore said he never had any heart problems before that day in the gym. He now has a pacemaker, and said he looks forward to meeting Sabin someday soon to thank her in person. They have already connected on Facebook.

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