Beaufort Co. man thanks the men, device that saved his life

Michael Kirby suffered a heart attack while working out back in January
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 10:43 AM EDT
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BEAUFORT, S.C. (WTOC) - For Michael Kirby, Capt. Adam Jordan and Don Martz Jan. 2 seemed like just another day.

“I came here to do my normal workout. I come three to four days a week. Started to workout, was doing just fine,” Kirby recalled.

“Me and my wife usually meet here to do a little workout,” said Capt. Jordan.

“Everything was going along fine that day. I was out doing my routine,” added Don Martz who handles Membership Services at Planet Fitness Beaufort.

Despite wanting to wrap up for the day, Jordan’s wife convinced him to stick around.

“She was like, ‘oh you’re not doing cardio today?’ So, I said, ‘eh I guess I’ll stick around.’”

As he continued his workout, Kirby was taking a break from his when something started to feel off.

“I started to get a little dizzy and was going to sit down.”

But he never made it, he collapsed in the middle of the gym.

“I heard like a ‘thud’ and next thing I know people started scrambling,” Capt. Jordan says.

As a local firefighter he rushed to the scene, finding no pulse.

“I started CPR right away,” says Capt. Jordan.

A short distance away Martz also noticed the commotion.

“I went over and saw him on the floor, ran to the desk and got the AED.”

They then attached the AED, “gave one shock and he came back. First thing I said to him was, ‘welcome back,’” says Capt. Jordan.

Kirby was breathing again and quickly taken to the hospital where he found out he’d had a heart attack.

But thanks to Martz and Capt. Jordan, he’d survived.

“They told me if it wouldn’t have been for the immediate action of the personnel, plus getting the AED, then I probably wouldn’t be alive today,” said Kirby.

That AED giving this story a different ending for Kirby and Martz.

“When I was 21 years old my dad had a cardiac arrest, there was no AED then. In a blessing, it’s good to know it works,” said Martz getting choked up.

The three men reunited recently allowing Kirby to thank his heroes in-person giving them a life saving ribbon, but for them just seeing Kirby up and moving was all the thanks they needed

“I’m glad to see Michael’s doing real well. I can’t wait to see him back here working out again,” said Martz.

“He’s with us again, he’s with his family again, he’s able to do the things he wants to do again. So, giving him a second chance at everything is just an amazing feeling, I can’t explain it,” said Capt. Jordan.

So, on a day that started like any other, it’s now become one these three will never forget with a message they hope others will listen to.

“One thing I think that is positive about all this is it advertised for business, and Planet Fitness does this, the AED. Having those in your businesses or where a lot of people are gathering, it’s going to save lives,” Kirby says.