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Woman, 21, who had heart attack in gym saved by heroes working out beside her; Emily Counter can be seen collapsing on a rowing machine in the terrifying footage.

Byline: Alice Richardson

A woman almost who had a heart attack at the gym was saved by quick-thinking heroes working out beside her.

Emily Counter, 21, was on a rowing machine at Anytime Fitness Noosa on the Sunshine Coast in Australia when she had a seizure and went into cardiac arrest.

Gym owner Aaron Petterson and gym member Ben Duffy leapt to her aid and saved her life using a defibrillator.

Mr Petterson said: "One of the young members just came running to me and said 'something's happened to a girl'. Em was just laying on the ground. She just wouldn't respond."

The owner said it was a scary moment when Ms Counter "started to go blue".

Both Mr Petterson and Mr Duffy then used the defibrillator and carried out vital CPR to start Ms Counter's heart again.

Ms Counter was then taken to Nooza Hospital, where she remained in a three-day coma.

After further tests, Ms Counter was diagnosed with Bland-White-Garland Syndrome (BWGS), a rare form of heart disease which, if untreated can be fatal, particularly in children.

Most children who do not have surgery to correct the defect end up dying in infancy. Ms Counter reached the age of 21 oblivious to her condition.

She told theCourier Mail, "I was getting heart pain and I was struggling breathing when I was running, way before I had this happen, and I thought I just wasn't fit enough."

Ms Counter now has a "fully re-plumbed heart" following surgery and has been given the go ahead to exercise again after four months of recovery.

She now wants to see defibrillators made compulsory at all gyms as she believes, if it weren't for the defibrillator at that gym that day, she wouldn't have made it.


Credit: Facebook

Emily Counter suffered a cardiac arrest while at the gym

Credit: Facebook

Just before the heart attack happened, Ms Counter was working out on a rowing machine

Credit: Facebook

As her heart attack took hold, Ms Counter collapsed off the machine

Credit: Facebook

Ms Counter fell to the floor and became unresponsive

Credit: Facebook

The gym's owner and a gym member helped start Ms Counter's heart again

Credit: Facebook

Ms Counter was then taken to hospital where she spent three days in a coma

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Author:Alice Richardson
Publication:Daily Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 16, 2019
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