Teen helps save man in cardiac arrest at barber shop

- A customer at a Northville barber shop collapsed from cardiac arrest - that's when a teenage life guard jumped into action.

"I just looked up and had all these people over me, I didn't realize what happened," said Charles Gevirtz. "I figured I must've fainted."

It was a surreal moment for Gevirtz, 55, of Brighton, and for a teen credited with saving his life.

"It was crazy, there's no other way to say it," said Ryan Figueora.

Last month Gevirtz says he was inside Score's Haircuts for Men in Northville when all of a sudden, he couldn't breathe.

"And then I felt like I was going to faint," Gevirtz said. "I didn't know what to do. I took a breath and that's all I remember."

Figueora, 17, was just entering the shop.

"As I was walking into the Scores barbershop, one of the stylists was screaming to call 911," he said.

Figueroa, who is CPR certified, quickly jumped into action.

"You have to push a certain amount of times, it is about 30 times, and you have to give two breaths," he said. "And you have to make sure you are pushing hard enough and deep enough."

Gevirtz was in cardiac arrest as a doctor happened to be jogging by the shop and noticed the commotion ran in to help Ryan.

"The timing was unbelievable, it was a like miracle," he said.

And then, even better luck - two police officers were only a block away and got there within minutes. One officer was holding a defibrillator.

"Did you know that defibrillator was only purchased a month earlier and put into that police car," Gevirtz said.

"He started gasping for air and then the police took me over and hooked up to the AED and the AED said his heart wasn't beating."

Figueroa said that Charles, who started turning blue, opened his eyes.

Figueroa says the moment Gevirtz was able to get up and get onto a gurney on his own was unforgettable.

"I was just shocked and I was like I can't believe he was really dead - then alive it was absolutely crazy," he said.

"He asked me if my chest hurts, I felt it and was like yeah," Gevirtz said. "I didn't know I had six broken ribs at the time."

Gevirtz underwent surgery and now cheerfully says Thursday he's doing well and is recently engaged. He credits everyone there for saving his life - especially Figueroa.

"I'm happy for Ryan, I thank him so much," said Gevirtz.

"I'm just very happy he's alive and doing well," Figueroa said. "I've very happy he is alive and doing well and very excited he can get married. I'm happy for his fiancée as well."
 

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