(NEW YORK) — Former Olympic figure skater Paul Wylie took home the silver medal at the 1992 Olympics and is a member of the Figure Skating Hall of Fame. Now at age 52, he is looking to spread awareness about cardiac arrest.
Wylie spoke exclusively with ABC News after he suffered cardiac arrest almost two years ago. In April 2015, Wylie was running with friends when he collapsed. One of the people he was with performed CPR and kept him alive until paramedics could resuscitate him.
Wylie, who now wears a defibrillator, doesn’t recall much of the incident and says he didn’t have symptoms that would have led him to believe he could be a victim of cardiac arrest.
Cardiac arrest is an abrupt loss of heart function that can result in death if not treated within minutes, and the survival rate is extremely low. As Wylie’s case shows, it can appear unexpectedly and without major symptoms.
The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association released a joint report outlining different steps people can take to prevent the disease. Wylie adds that a yearly visit to and good communication with a personal doctor can lessen a person’s chances of having cardiac arrest.
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