April 30, 2013

As a wellness coach and personal trainer at the Dr. P. Phillips YMCA Family Center, Jessica Freeman loves helping people transform their lives, but it wasn’t until the day she actually saved a life that she truly understood the commitment to serve.

Thanks to extensive CPR and life-saving training, Jessica knew exactly what to do when a Y member recently suffered a near-fatal heart attack while working out at the Dr. Phillips Y.

Calmly, swiftly taking charge, she directed others to apply the external heart defibrillator, standard equipment on all Y wellness floors, while she and another staff member administered CPR until medical help arrived.

“It all happened so fast, but thankfully my Y training and preparation automatically kicked in,” said Jessica, who is also a graduate of UCF’s exercise science program. “When I checked the man for a pulse and found none, I knew there was no time to spare.”

“It feels great to know you’ve saved someone’s life,” said Jessica, who has kept in touch with the man’s family and is thrilled to know he’s doing fine. “That it could have been my dad, so I’m grateful I was able to help. It’s what I love about working at the Y. We help people every day. To actually save the life of someone who is part of our Y family is just awesome.”