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Man saved twice by Good Samaritans urges others to learn CPR

Jeff Backus partnered with UofL Health, urging guests to learn life-saving techniques that...
Jeff Backus partnered with UofL Health, urging guests to learn life-saving techniques that helped revive him twice.(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Aug. 29, 2021 at 1:13 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - With Sunday as the last day of the Kentucky State Fair, one man went not for the attractions, animals, or food, but to share his story as a two-time heart attack survivor.

Jeff Backus partnered with UofL Health, urging guests to learn life-saving techniques that helped revive him twice.

In 2014, Backus suffered his first heart attack.

“I was training to run my first 5K,” Backus said.

Backus was at Dog Hill in Cherokee Park and went down after going into cardiac arrest. A woman, who happened to be in the park, noticed Backus and ran to help.

“She gave me CPR the whole time,” Backus said.

Backus was taken to the hospital, and ended up having double bypass surgery. He wasn’t going to let this this set back keep him down.

He eventually went back to running. Backus ran in a few marathons and was feeling good. Then, in 2019, he had another heart attack.

“I was running and actually I was between Cherokee and Seneca Park and I went down,” Backus said. “There were some boys, at least the story I’ve been told, came up on me, they called 911. The 911 operator talked them through giving me CPR.”

Backus is alive because people around him were able to perform CPR, he says it’s something everyone should learn.

“Hopefully you will never need it,” Backus said. “You need to know how to do it. I was thinking about it I taught my daughters when they started to drive how to change a tire, hoping they would never have to do it but, if they got into a situation where they had to they would know what to do.”

According to the American Heart Association, every year, 475,000 people die from cardiac arrest in the United States.

Doctors say there is a bigger opportunity, if everyone can bring that number down by learning CPR.

For more information on CPR, click or tap here.

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