CPR Saves Man From Sudden Cardiac Death

Rebecca Weitzel Nominated as a Red Cross Hero

Shannon Ballard sballard@kjct8.com

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo — George Briner is active, fit, and in his 70’s.  But in December 2010, his heart skipped more than a few beats. “I was in chisel class and I remember Rebecca saying ‘it’s hot in the room,” George Briner said.  Rebecca Weitzel is a fitness instruction at Crossroads Fitness in Downtown Grand Junction.  She says,” I noticed that George was pale, so I made mention to him that ‘George you need to probably stop and get some water.”  When he tried, George nearly collapsed.”  He was headed towards the spin bikes and I pulled him back and laid him down,” Weitzel said.  His heart experienced sudden cardiac death.  “It stopped beating somewhere between seven and ten minutes,” Briner said.  “There was no heart rate, there was no breathing.”  “As soon as we found there wasn’t a pulse, it was just boom right into CPR,” Weitzel said.Weitzel, who was teaching the class, had just taken a CPR refresher course and says her adrenaline took over.  “Everything that I had remembered came to my mind,” Weitzel said.  “Its like they say, it comes to you when you need it the most and it really does.   I didn’t have to think too much about it.  “She continued CPR for upwards of 15 minutes before EMS arrived.  “As soon as they took over, I lost it and I realized the gravity of what had just happened,” Weitzel said.  “She broke three of my ribs, sent me to the hospital for eight days, and she’s my hero,” Briner said.  Without the help of Weitzel and others in the class, chances are Briner would not have survived.  “George is with us today because we have that life saving thing that we can do in CPR,” Weitzel said.  “I’m grateful that I knew what to do in the moment.”  “After this I climbed fourteeners, I went to Australia, climbed in Tasmania, and backpacked,” Briner said. “I’m able to do it because of Rebecca.”  Rebecca Weitzel and several other people will be recognized at a Red Cross Heroes dinner on Friday, April 27th.  If you’d like to attend the event, you can buy tickets by calling the Red Cross or visiting our website.




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