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YMCA Briargate Staff Transform into Heroes to Save Lives

(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Briargate YMCA held special significance for John Aguon, serving as his sanctuary where he could unwind and alleviate the day’s stresses. However, his routine visit on January 22 took a drastic turn when he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest.

Describing the events leading up to the incident, Aguon recalled his typical morning work routine before deciding to head to the gym for a stress-relieving workout. Engaging in his favorite activity of playing basketball, Aguon’s memory fades after his arrival at the YMCA.

Aguon, known for his aversion to idleness and preference for constant movement, particularly enjoyed the physicality of basketball as part of his exercise regimen. At 60 years old, he cherished shooting hoops and dribbling, activities he engaged in before transitioning to weight training. Little did he anticipate that this ordinary day would culminate in a life-threatening emergency.

As Aguon engaged in the familiar motions on the basketball court, his world suddenly plunged into darkness. The next recollection he had was waking up in a hospital bed several days later, his life hanging in the balance.

Fortunately, Aguon was not alone during this harrowing ordeal. Two individuals present at the scene acted swiftly, recognizing the gravity of the situation and promptly calling for help. The timely intervention of three YMCA staff members—Travis Lerma, Sam Arbogast, and Robb Underwood—proved instrumental in saving Aguon’s life.

Lerma, the Director of Health Care Integration at YMCA Briargate, recounted the frantic moments following the incident, highlighting the coordinated efforts of the team in administering CPR and utilizing an AED until emergency services arrived.

The trio’s swift and efficient response, honed through rigorous training in life-saving techniques, played a pivotal role in ensuring Aguon’s survival. Lerma emphasized the importance of their comprehensive training, which equipped them to handle such critical situations effectively.

Expressing his profound gratitude, Aguon met with Lerma and his family to convey his appreciation, hailing them as his heroes for their decisive actions during his moment of crisis.

Looking ahead, Aguon is scheduled for a heart stent surgery later in the week. Eager to resume his active lifestyle, he expressed his anticipation of returning to the YMCA for workouts and swimming, underscoring the facility’s integral role in his daily routine.

The events of January 22 will forever remain etched in Aguon’s memory, serving as a poignant reminder of the swift actions and unwavering dedication of those who played a crucial role in his survival.