Beavercreek doctor, Cedarville EMS save life of man who collapsed on tennis court

CEDARVILLE — The quick actions of a Beavercreek doctor and Cedarville Fire Department emergency responders were recognized Tuesday for saving the life of a Cedarville man who fell into cardiac arrest on the tennis court.

Anesthisiologist John Vitaliti of Beavercreek, and Abe Awabdy, 81, from Cedarville, were playing a tennis match at the Cedarville University tennis courts on July 8 before Awabdy collapsed to the ground.

“We had just gone up one game,” said Vitaliti. “When I turned around, he was lying flat on the ground on his back, unresponsive.”

Upon reaching Awabdy, Vitaliti was unable to feel a pulse, so he began to administer CPR. Once Cedarville University’s response team arrived, they supported the effort to revive Awabdy, using an automatic external defibrillator to revive his pulse and quickly transport him to the hospital.

The team of first responders included Don Parvin, captain of campus safety, Jayson Neri, campus safety officer, and the University’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team, according to a university statement. Cedarville EMS and Vitaliti were recognized by Premier Health at a ceremony at the Cedarville Fire Department Tuesday.

“The survival rate for people going into cardiac arrest is only 12%, it’s pretty rare,” said Elizabeth Sheridan, EMS coordinator with Premier Health’s Miami Valley Hospital and Beavercreek Emergency Center.

Without the quick thinking of Vitaliti and the other first responders, Awabdy may not have made it to the hospital, where he recovered to the point he could return home three days later, the university said.

“These circumstances point to divine intervention. God put me there at the right moment because the Lord had more plans for Abe,” Vitaliti said.

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