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2 honored for saving man's life at Norwood gym after his heart stopped

2 honored for saving man's life at Norwood gym after his heart stopped
2 honored for saving man's life at Norwood gym after his heart stopped 01:37

NORWOOD - Two people were honored Wednesday in Norwood for saving a man's life at the gym.

Back on June 28, Chris Dull collapsed at the start of a group exercise class at a CrossFit Prosperity on Morse Street. He had gone into cardiac arrest and didn't have a pulse.

"I normally will stretch a little bit and thought nothing of it. Next thing I know, I don't remember anything. The next thing I remember I'm just laying on my back looking up at the ceiling," Dull told WBZ-TV.

Paula Verderber and Scott Leverenz were in the class with Dull and jumped in to save him. They started CPR and used an automated external defibrillator (AED) to revive him before paramedics arrived.

"Between the two of us we looked at some pictograms and figured out to put one on pretty quickly. It says shock the patient and we said, 'Alright,' and we shocked Chris back to life," said Leverenz.

Verderber is a nurse and said she had never seen someone come back so fast from using the device.

"I have done CPR on people, I can tell you like thousands of times" she told WBZ. "I've never done it and had somebody wake up and want to get up to work out immediately after."

Dull said he felt well enough to get right back up but was advised to wait for the ambulance to take him to the hospital. The Norwood Fire Department said because everyone acted so quickly, Dull was able to have a fast recovery. 

He came back to the gym Wednesday for a reunion as Norwood's fire chief and EMS Coordinator gave Verderber and Leverenz the American Heart Association Heartsaver Hero award. 

"The actions they took in the first two minutes of the collapse clearly saved his life," said Norwood fire chief David Hayes.

"There's always going to be that special place up there, I can't thank them enough. I'm in debted to them. They saved my life," Dull told WBZ.    

They all now hope more people will hear this story and learn how to use the device in case of an emergency.

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