by Alex Boesch, Student Public Relations Writer
Swift reactions and execution are key factors in winning a tennis match, but for Dr. John Vitaliti, an anesthesiologist, it also made the difference in saving his friend Abraham Awabdy’s life when he fell into cardiac arrest. Vitaliti and Cedarville first responders were honored by Premier Health at a special ceremony Tuesday, Aug. 9 at 8 pm at the Cedarville Township Volunteer Fire Department.
Vitaliti, from Beavercreek, Ohio, and Awabdy, 81, from Cedarville, Ohio, were playing a tennis match at the Cedarville University tennis courts on July 8, 2022 before Awabdy fell to the ground.
Upon reaching Awabdy, Vitaliti was unable to feel a pulse, so he promptly gave chest compressions (CPR) on Awabdy. Soon thereafter, Cedarville University Campus Safety officer Jayson Neri arrived and continued CPR. Captain Don Parvin of Cedarville University's campus security, Jason Robison of the Village of Cedarville's police department, and Fire Lt. Luke Neikirk of the Cedarville Township Volunteer Fire Department arrived and began placing the AED on Awabdy, delivering a shock and obtaining a pulse. Cedarville Township Medic 11 crew supported the effort to revive Awabdy and transported him to the hospital.
"When Cedarville Township EMS and campus safety personnel arrived, they were able to use an automatic external defibrillator to revive his pulse and quickly transport him to the hospital,” said Vitaliti.
Without the quick thinking of Vitaliti and the other first responders, Awabdy may not have made it to the hospital, where he recovered to the point he could return home three days later.
“The survival rate for people going into cardiac arrest is only 12%, it’s pretty rare,” said Elizabeth Sheridan, EMS coordinator with Premier Health’s Miami Valley Hospital (main campus) and Beavercreek Emergency Center. “These circumstances point to divine intervention,” said Vitaliti. “God put me there at the right moment because the Lord had more plans for Abe.”
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,715 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu.