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Exercise physiologist Lydia Miller of St. David’s Georgetown Hospital’s cardiac rehabilitation department sprang into action when a churchgoer had a heart attack in the middle of a service.

Miller performed CPR and used an automated external defibrillator, known as an AED, to help Gary Hoffman regain a pulse, even though that AED was over a decade old. Hoffman, a U.S. Navy veteran, was at Kingsland Community Church on Veterans Day last fall to participate in a tribute to veterans at the church.

“Gary’s crisis was a life-or-death situation. Had the defibrillator not worked, I’m not sure of Gary’s survival chance,” Miller said. “We experienced a miracle that day. We’re all so thankful Gary is still here with us.”

Hoffman served as a color guard, and after placing the flag, he sang in the choir. But shortly after the song ended, he collapsed and became unresponsive.

After two shocks were administered, Hoffman regained a pulse.

Hoffman, who is back in good health, recently surprised Miller with a visit to St. David’s Georgetown Hospital. He and his wife also purchased a new AED for the church to show their appreciation.

Miller believes Hoffman’s medical emergency serves as a great reminder that we must all learn CPR and ensure AEDs are functional.

KVUE-TV recently interviewed Miller and Hoffman about his story.

Photo courtesy of the Williamson County Sun.

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