Steven Wahl was on the elliptical machine at the Maple Street YMCA when he started to feel a little weird.
Weird as in weak, lightheaded — not right. Then everything went black.
Wahl, 44, had collapsed from a massive heart attack. It was July 3. “I had no pulse,” he said Friday. “I was basically dead.”
Wahl credits the quick-thinking staff at the Y for starting CPR, and using a defibrillator to get his heart going again. He thanked them at a ceremony Friday at the Y location at 7502 Maple St.
Everyone who works at the YMCA is trained in CPR and use of an automated external defibrillator, said Kris Huie, the Maple branch's business manager.
“They're my saviors,” Wahl said. “I have to think to myself that things would have turned out a lot differently had they not had the training and the equipment they had.”
By the time paramedics arrived, Wahl was still in critical condition but doing better. They rushed him to a hospital.
Wahl underwent triple-bypass surgery a week later. He said he has since learned of relatives who have had heart problems.
“I never knew I had any kind of a heart condition before. I was working out five to six days a week, and at this age, I figured I was low-risk,” Wahl said.
The married father of three girls said that he's feeling stronger every day and that he's almost ready to hit the gym again.
“I'm anxious to get back to it,” Wahl said.
“It just depends on how long it will take for me to get to that point.”