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I have a story to share about something that happened to me. I was going to do it sooner but I needed time for process because it is disturbing.In early March I went to visit my mom as I do every winter. She lives in Palm Desert. I have been going there since I was a little girl and I just the love the dessert. This is not a story about my mom or Palm Desert.
There is Gold’s Gym near my mom’s house. I have been going there since it opened. Its home away from home as I know most of the trainers and staff and it’s a great gym.
My usual routine is to get up every morning really early and take a quick drive east on Washington St to the Coachella Valley Preserve and head out for a dessert run/hike/adventure, then back to mom’s to do “mom stuff”. Then around 3pm or 4pm I go to the gym for a couple hours of a wonderful workout and socializing with old friends that I don’t see that often. When I am done I enjoy a delicious protein drink from their juice bar and watch the gym scene of southern California. What a perfect day!
On one of those days of my two week vacation mom and I made some special dinner plans so I had to go to the gym early that day and not do my usual desert jaunt. I pulled into the parking lot at Gold’s about 6:30am; the sun was just starting to peak over the Coachella Valley Mountains from the other side of Joshua Tree National Park. I was excited to be at the gym so early and thought to myself ‘I wonder who anyone is here in the early morning, if I will know and I wondered what time the Juice Bar opened.” I remember feeling happy to be at the gym, glad to be on vacation and that the sun was shining, what more could you ask for?
I walk into the gym, approach the reception counter and was about to give them my member code when a young man runs up to the counter and says “a man just collapsed!” He pointed across the gym. I looked to where he pointed. I could see a large man on the floor by the cable rack. I see a couple of people looking down at him. I shoved the gate open and ran as fast as I could to the “scene”. A quick assessment and I saw right away that he was unconscious, as he had emptied his bladder. There was blood on his elbow and knee where he hit the equipment on his way down. It was apparent to me that he had had a massive heart attack. I looked at the half dozen people there and asked if there was anyone that knew CPR? Two said yes. The three of us began. Noting the time I began to pump the chest. 6 minutes went by. We also applied a heart defibulator unit that the gym had on the wall which took awhile to find and figure out how to use. I could go into more details but I don’t think it is necessary.
I knew early on in this tragedy that this man was lifeless. I pumped and pumped as hard as I could not carrying if I broke a rib, just wanting to get the oxygen to the brain, hoping that if this man could be shocked back into life by the paramedics when they arrived. The brain needs oxygen or there will be irreversibly damaged. The paramedics arrived and took over. They continued working on the man as they loaded him into the ambulance. I looked on knowing that he was already gone.
I also knew that this man died because he was obese. It was obvious to all of us that tried to save him. Obesity kills. There, I said it. I’m sorry to tell this story and be so blunt but I felt compelled. Not sure where I want to go from here….
Obesity is defined simply as too much body fat. Your body is made up of water, fat, protein, carbohydrate and various vitamins and minerals. If you have too much fat — especially in your waist area — you’re at higher risk for health problems, including high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Obesity is now recognized as a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, which can does lead to heart attack.