BISMARCK, N.D. - March 2 was nearly the last day of Doug Wahl's life.
The Jamestown man suffered a cardiac arrest during the West Region basketball tournament, fortunately people jumped into action, did CPR, shocked him with an AED and saved his life.
Bismarck and Mandan are making their communities cardiac ready, and after their first official save under this program, Metro Area Ambulance wants to get more of the community to buy-in.
Doug Wahl came to Bismarck for the West Region basketball tournament. He left with a new appreciation of life.
"Thank God that I'm still here and the people that stepped up and you know total strangers to me. stepped up and pulled me through this,” said Wahl.
When Wahl went into cardiac arrest. People attending the game jumped in to do CPR and used an AED. Sanford Physician Dale Klein was the one who shocked Wahl back to life.
"With these in the community now and in all the different locations getting to these quickly is going to make a difference,” said Dr. Klein.
Getting AEDs throughout Bismarck and Mandan has been part of the plan for Metro Area Ambulance. They've been working for more than a year getting AEDs into the community and teaching people how to be "cardiac ready.
"With hands only CPR, availability of an AED can in fact save and does save lives...It's not a local thing at all. This is a statewide thing and it just gets bigger and bigger and bigger,” said Dan Schaefer, Metro Area Ambulance Operations Chief.
Wahl says after this, he's going to work and advocate for making more communities prepared for a situation just like his.
Wahl says he's got a history of heart disease in the family, even losing two brothers to it before they turned 50. He's taking medication and has had several checkups since his episode. He's also had surgery to put a defibrillator on his heart.