Man, 34, saved by strangers in gym after suffering major heart attack


A West Fargo man continues to recover from a major heart attack thanks to the quick action of two women at the exercise facility he was training at, the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reports.

The Forum says Justin Gress, 34, suffered the heart attack Jan. 12 at Snap Fitness in West Fargo after being on the treadmill for about an hour. He reportedly began to step up his running pace just before he collapsed.

Luckily for Gress, two women at the West Fargo facility knew CPR and sprung into action after he collapsed.

Jill Weisenberger, a nurse, and Joy Loiseau, a speech pathologist, said they first thought Gress was suffering from a stroke, but then took turns doing chest compressions when they realized he had no pulse.

The women performed CPR on Gress for 10 minutes to keep him alive before an ambulance arrived.

“What happened to me – they call it a widow maker – the chances of making it are so slim,” Gress told the Forum. “I was clinically dead for 10 minutes.”

According to WDAY, Gress quit smoking to train to run in the Fargo Marathon.

Gress is especially grateful that he survived the heart attack because his baby daughter with fiancee, Amy Schumacher, turned 1 month old on Monday.

"I didn't know if I'd get to see her again," Gress told WDAY.

Gress isn't the only person to benefit from the action of strangers after suffering a heart attack.

WDAZ says a 66-year-old Oslo, Minnesota, man was saved by a postal worker after suffering a heart attack outside of his home earlier this month.

The station says the man, Rick Hendrickson,went outside to check on his grandson, who was shoveling the sidewalk, when he suddenly collapsed. The grandson then saw the mail carrier driving by and flagged him down to help.

WDAZ says the mail carrier, 29-year-old Jake Craik, was filling in that day, and normally doesn't work the route Hendrickson was on. Fortunately for Hendrickson, Craik knew CPR and performed the procedure on the man until an ambulance arrived.

Hendrickson went home Tuesday after spending 11 days in the hospital.

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