DAVIE (CBS4) – A Broward County man has three strangers to thank for saving his life when he suffered a heart attack while at the gym last month.
On May 24th, 52 year-old Scott Vengel went to exercise at the Davie fitness center inside Pine Island Park. He remembers nothing after that.
Vengel woke up in the hospital a few days later and discovered that he had undergone open heart surgery to clear five clogged arteries.
Vengel suffered a massive heart attack while pedaling a stationary bike and was saved thanks to some quick thinking recreation workers.
On Monday, Vengel thanked the men who saved his life. Accompanied by his wife and two daughters, Vengel went to the Davie Fire Rescue Administrative offices on Orange Drive and met the three men who brought him back to life.
Sam Gulla, James Marold and Anthony Induisi all work for the sports department in Davie. They were pulling up to the gym on the day Vengel suffered his heart attack, and sprang into action.
Marold, who is also a paramedic, grabbed the defibrillator that was on the wall of the gym and Gulla started chest compressions.
By the time paramedics arrived, Vengel had a pulse.
Vengel said he had none of the risk factors for a heart attack. His weight was under control, his cholesterol was low, and he exercised.
Leading up to the heart attack about the only warning sign he had was that he was tired.
“But we thought it was the stress from work or because our daughter was graduating from high school,” said Vengel’s wife Kim.
Vengel says he has always felt he was a lucky guy blessed with a loving wife and two beautiful daughters.
“I’ve always appreciated life,” he said.
Now he has a reason to treasure it even more.
The town of Davie began putting defibrillators in public buildings a few years ago and this incident proves how vital they are.
Paramedics say it also illustrates the value of the public learning CPR.