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South Florida man reunites with first responders, medical staff who helped save his life

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – It’s a workout Jeffrey Skimming will likely never forget.

He went into cardiac arrest while working out at an LA Fitness in Pompano Beach last August and this week he reunited with the first responders who helped save his life.

Pompano Beach Fire Rescue Lt. Arjun Sirju said first responders arrived to find Skimming unresponsive and not breathing.

Skimming’s girlfriend, who was with him at the time, jumped into action and started CPR.

When paramedics arrived, they took over.

Authorities said Skimming had a series of strokes while being transported to Broward Health North.

Jeffrey Skimming thanks first responders for helping save his life after he went into cardiac arrest at an LA Fitness in Pompano Beach.
Jeffrey Skimming thanks first responders for helping save his life after he went into cardiac arrest at an LA Fitness in Pompano Beach. (WPLG)

“From what I can remember, I was almost done with the workout until I then started to not feel well. Then (I) slumped down, and from that point I didn’t remember,” Skimming said.

“I think he got shocked three time before he came to the hospital,” Dr. Andre Landau, of Broward Health North, said. “We put him into an induced coma for 48 hours to protect his brain from brain injury due to lack of oxygen from the cardiac arrest.”

At the hospital, Skimming underwent a surgical procedure called a cardiac catheterization.

Within a few weeks after surgery, Skimming was back on his feet and exercising. He doesn’t remember much of what happened but he said the symptoms were minimal.

“I was feeling very healthy. And so I had very little warnings, maybe a little bit of shortness of breath, but not too much. I certainly had no chest pain,” Skimming said.

Doctors credit Skimming’s girlfriend’s quick thinking for keeping him alive.

“That initial management saved his life,” Landau said. “It kept his blood pressure up, it kept his rhythm going, it kept circulation to the brain.”

Skimming underwent a bypass and has made a great recovery. He was home within a week.

Medical personnel said Skimming’s story is a great reminder to the public for why everyone should know how to perform CPR.