Family Wellness Members, Staff Team Up Save a Life

The group was honored by FM Ambulance in Tuesday's Lifesaving Awards ceremony

FARGO, N.D. — Hundreds of people generally come through the doors of the Family Wellness Center to work out and stay healthy.

But on December 27, some members noticed something unusual.

It was at the Family Wellness Center in Fargo that John Bonicelli fell into sudden cardiac arrest, but luckily for John, several members and staff jumped into action.

While working out at the gym, Danica Greer, an EMT in training, noticed that Bonicelli was not responsive.

“I saw him lying on the ground, so I came back to where he was, and he was just laying down, so I went up to him to make sure he was okay, and I didn’t get any response or anything so that’s when I asked him if he knew where he was just because I wasn’t really alert. He was conscious but not alert,” said Greer.

Also at the gym that day was Ryan Thompson, who happened to work as a nurse for 19 years.

“I saw staff going back and forth, and I just saw John laying down,” Thompson recalled.

Thompson and Greer, along with Family Wellness Director Jenna Johnson and her staff, worked tirelessly to revive Bonicelli. Johnson was fortunate that the gym’s automated external defibrilator (AED) did its job.

“The AED is a magnificent tool and it works in situations where the human body is resilient,” said Johnson.

Bonicelli did stay in the hospital a couple of nights, but the Fargo resident is grateful for the help he received that day.

“So grateful. So grateful to be at the right place. So lucky to be with people who are able to take actions. That’s the key thing: just to take action when someone is in trouble,” said Bonicelli.

The local heroes were honored for their actions by the F–M Ambulance Service on Tuesday.

Only 37 percent of people across the country are certified to administer CPR.

F–M Ambulance will host their “Save a Life Saturday” program on Saturday afternoon at West Acres Mall to help teach people about CPR.

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