On Dec. 7 last year, Danvers resident John Salvanelli was walking into the Latitude Fitness Club in Peabody, when he heard someone screaming for a doctor.
"I quickly followed the person to the third floor where I found a man laying on the floor with a pool of blood around his head," Salvenelli recalled. The man, he later learned, had suffered a heart attack.
It was then that Salvanelli, a Beverly firefighter and EMT, made a life-changing decision.
"I turned him over with the help of another women and realized he was not responsive and not breathing," he said. "I asked for a defibulator and someone gave it to me. Myself and a ER Nurse Cheryl Seaman open the machine and applied the pads. After starting up the defib. I advised everyone to stand clear as I delivered two shocks."
With the help of Trainers Keith Leblank and Carol Warfield, who did manual CPR and mouth-to-mouth, the team waited for an ambulance to arrive, and hoped for the best.
"We didn't think at the time he left on the stretcher that he would make it," Salvanelli said.
But, thankfully, he did. And, Salvanelli said he's back to being a regular at the gym.
Now, Salvanelli will be receiving an engraved crystal award for his life-saving use of a defibrillator at the "Heroes Among Us" Awards this week.
At the conclusion of each season, the Celtics organization and the program’s presenting sponsor, the Massachusetts State Lottery, and media partners; WEEI Radio, and ComcastSportsNet, host a special tribute to recognize the award recipients from the past season.
"I feel honred to share this with my wife and son and Brothers ...I only wish my Mom and Dad where alive," he said.
The Heroes Among Us Award Ceremony will take place on Thursday, July 19, from 3-5 p.m. at the Mass. State House.