Local News

'An act of God' saves heart attack victim

Posted March 3

From left to right, Danielle Gough, Merrie Gough, and Elisabeth Gough. (Courtesy of Wake Forest News)

— A heart attack almost killed Carlos Ruiz on Jan. 19.

Merrie Gough and her two daughters helped save his life.

Gough, her 25-year-old daughter Danielle and 22-year-old Elisabeth said it was an 'act of God' that led them to Anytime Fitness on Rogers Road in Wake Forest instead of looking at new homes.

It was at the gym where Ruiz, 56, a field engineer for Kodak Alaris, was working out prior to heading to church. He started feeling ill while on the treadmill. Ruiz felt better a few minutes later and returned to working out.

And then he dropped to the floor.

Gough, a certified registered nurse anesthetist, and her two daughters were walking into the gym when Ruiz went into cardiac arrest.

The trio sprang into action. Danielle Gough ran to push the emergency alarm. Elisabeth Gough dialed 911. Merrie Gough performed CPR on Ruiz.

Another person inside the gym found an Automated External Defibrillator, which was also used on Ruiz.

“The patient would have been in big trouble without being shocked,” said Wake County Paramedic Damon Thomas. ”The AED most likely played a big role in saving his life. The mother and daughters who sprang into action were the true heroes that day. They knew what to do and took charge. I can’t praise them enough.”

Wake Forest firefighters were first to arrive and took over CPR. Ruiz, who was transported to the hospital, later had an aortic valve replaced.

Having a heart attack changed his life.

“Now I see things differently,” Ruiz said. “What used to bother me doesn’t bother me anymore. I feel like there’s a destiny. That I was saved and spared for a reason and now I have to find in my journey what my purpose is in surviving.”

Story used with permission from Wake Forest News.

31 Comments

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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Mar 10, 10:43 a.m.

    In one of the richest countries in the world, a single 56 year old is saved by educated & trained medical personnel using a state-of-the-art medical device...and it’s an “act of god”.

  • glarg Mar 4, 3:16 p.m.

    geez people, the "act of God" referred to simply means these three women originally had no plans... View More

    — Posted by Fireflies Rock

    No, I can't. If I don't believe in god, I certainly don't believe in divine intervention. And... View More

    — Posted by TJPC

    You have no knowledge of how likely or remote that circumstances are that led the Gough's to... View More

    — Posted by glarg

    They also don't have any information. They at religionists so they attribute everything good... View More

    — Posted by Nope

    If 'they' is the Goughs then of course they do. They said they were supposed to be going to Wake Forest. Was it a crazy series of events that led them to cancel that plan and go instead to the gym?

    They know, we dont.

  • Nope Mar 4, 3:06 p.m.

    geez people, the "act of God" referred to simply means these three women originally had no plans... View More

    — Posted by Fireflies Rock

    No, I can't. If I don't believe in god, I certainly don't believe in divine intervention. And... View More

    — Posted by TJPC

    You have no knowledge of how likely or remote that circumstances are that led the Gough's to... View More

    — Posted by glarg

    They also don't have any information. They at religionists so they attribute everything good that happens in the world even though god gave us free will and doesn't manage the minutia of everyday life according to core Christian beliefs.

  • glarg Mar 4, 2:45 p.m.

    geez people, the "act of God" referred to simply means these three women originally had no plans... View More

    — Posted by Fireflies Rock

    No, I can't. If I don't believe in god, I certainly don't believe in divine intervention. And... View More

    — Posted by TJPC

    You have no knowledge of how likely or remote that circumstances are that led the Gough's to arrive at just the right time.

    The people who do have direct knowledge are calling it 'an act of God'- I dont see where you even have enough information to critique their statement.

  • TJPC Mar 4, 2:21 p.m.

    geez people, the "act of God" referred to simply means these three women originally had no plans... View More

    — Posted by Fireflies Rock

    No, I can't. If I don't believe in god, I certainly don't believe in divine intervention. And how about if I turn the tables and ask you the same kind of question. Why do you believe that it was god that saved this person? My beliefs are no less valid than yours. I believe in science and things that you can actually prove - not mystical, magical or faith driven blind following. I don't blame you for your beliefs - please respect mine.

  • NC Reader Mar 4, 2:20 p.m.

    Nauti-Dog: I'm not mad at all. I don't spend much time getting mad; it's not a healthy way to live life. However, I do believe in using logical arguments to rebut soundbites from whatever source. You misread my comments. If you go back and read my first post, you will see that the rude comments I was referring to were from posts before mine; you had not posted by then. You may be surprised to learn that I agree with you that some Christians can also be very rude in how they talk about their beliefs. Fortunately, I think most people in real life (as opposed to most anonymous Internet posters) are good, decent, tolerant people whatever their beliefs. The Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and nonreligious people I know support each other, care for one another, and don't let their differences divide them.

    Any time that there is a positive story like this, I hope we can all say, regardless of our beliefs, that we are happy for the people involved.

  • HANS FOR PRESIDENT!!!!! JK Mar 4, 1:54 p.m.

    Get mad all you want. my comments aren't snide or curt. Just different from yours. The others may be rude since they're tired of hearing it. Christians aren't always "polite" in telling all that don't believe they're gonna burn if they don't follow the light, are they? It's usually the other way around. They're fine with bluntly stating the consequences of the non-fearing. I never stated my religion or beliefs, just stating my opinion. And I don't think I was rude in doing so. Good day to all, whatever you may believe. Bye

  • NC Reader Mar 4, 1:15 p.m.

    "So, you're more righteous because you're to "proper" to express a difference in opinion?"

    More righteous? You misread my post if you came up with that conclusion. More polite? Yes. It's just plain good manners not to criticize, where a person saves someone else's life, that person's beliefs as to why he or she was in the position to help.

    "You'd probably think your God sent them instead."

    I don't know what I'd think. I might think it was just chance. However, regardless of my belief, I would, out of consideration of the person who saved my life keep it to myself. When people from other religions have offered to pray for a sick family member, I haven't told them I don't share their religion. (They probably know that anyway.) I have said thank you and taken comfort from their show of loving concern through prayer. Again, not righteousness, just good manners -- and a whole lot of appreciation of the common humanity we all share.

  • LovemyPirates Mar 4, 12:27 p.m.

    Hurray they got involved. And no, FX432, what they mean is that they feel it was an act of God that led them to change their plans and go to the gym rather than do what they'd originally planned to do, look at new homes. If they want to think this, why would it bother you? Sometimes serendipity is called "act of God."

  • bige9999 Mar 4, 12:14 p.m.

    Nauti-dog, Fx432, stormwaterguy, Mojo, etc. You all have a right to express you're opinion, but it's in the curt, snide manner that you do it that frustrates others. Express your opinion in a courteous way and I bet the comments back to you are less or go away. But I suspect most of you are trolling, so you asked for it.

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