Duke pre-med students save professor after he suffers a heart attack

- A group of pre-med students at Duke University got to put the skills they’re studying to good use after they saved the life of a professor when he suffered a heart attack.

Pre-med student and Duke EMS volunteer Kirsten Bonowitz says she was studying in the library with several of her pre-med friends when she heard someone shouting for help.

“Someone came out of a classroom fairly close to us, shouting: does anyone know CPR? And serendipitously, his eyes just kind of fell on us. The three of us in our EMT uniforms,” Bonowitz said.

Ritika Patil, another pre-med student said, “There were a couple of students who came running up and were like, 'you're an EMT! Come with us!'”

They raced to a nearby classroom where marketing professor George Grody was slumped over in a chair inside without a pulse.

Kevin Labagnara, a media, performed CPR.

“I think it really shows the importance of everyone being trained it bystander CPR, kind of knowing what to do,” he said.

Then, Bonowitz took off a shirt for the defibrillator that Patil placed on his chest.

She gave the professor three electric shocks before his pulse returned.

Patil says it was the first time she’d actually done the procedure on a live patient.

“You really can't allow the nerves to get in the way of what you're doing, The nerves are more the adrenaline kicking in. And you just have an extra kick of energy,” she said.

Another student gave the professor chest compressions, and then eventually Durham EMS arrived to take over.

According to officials, Grody is in the ICU and is expected to make a full recovery.

He sent an email to the students thanking them for their actions.

Bonowitz said, “That felt really good, and it still feels really good, I would love to be a doctor someday and feel that good all the time.”

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