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# Bonus Days Due to the Zoll AED

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Fifty-six-year-old Rick Wilburn had always been a big guy with a big personality—until a recent doctor’s appointment. His A1C, which indicated he was a diabetic based on blood sugar levels, had skyrocketed.

“I was sick and tired of being sick and tired,” Rick remembers. This realization propelled him to begin a strict fitness and weight-loss regime.

Rick signed up with MyFitnessPal to track his calorie intake, joined a gym, strapped on a Fitbit to record how much he exercised, and followed personal trainer and TV personality Bob Harper’s The Skinny Rules to slim down. In 90 days, he had lost 45 pounds, transitioned from a size 40 to a size 34, and decreased his A1C from 9.2 to 5.9.

The owner of Wilburn Medical USA in North Carolina, Rick was feeling “really good” 100 days into his shape-up. That day, he went to the gym as usual for an aggressive 30-minute workout on the treadmill before heading to work. As he sometimes does, he returned to the gym later that day for round two of his workout.

Pumped up, he decided to run at 7.5 MPH—not his regular 4 MPH—and to decrease his speed by .5 increments every 30 seconds. The last he remembers of his workout is tracking his speed at 6 MPH and being at the same height as the treadmill’s arm rail.

Bianka Raquel Ruiz, a gym supervisor, was in front of the building talking with a member when Rick went down. A coworker rushed outside to get her while another, following gym procedures, ran for the gym’s cell phone behind the desk, called 911, and grabbed the automated external defibrillator (AED) from the wall near a set of exercise equipment.

“When I got there, I saw Rick passed out on a treadmill and a few people were trying to pull him to the floor,” recalls Bianka. “He was blue, and I knew it was serious.”

Bianka immediately started compressions. Then a coworker attached Rick to the ZOLL® AED Plus®. In addition to administering a shock, if necessary, the AED Plus has a Real CPR Help® feature, which provides real-time feedback to rescuers to help them with both depth and rate of chest compressions during CPR.

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“The AED helped us through,” says Bianka. “It told us when to start and continue compressions, assessed Rick, and shocked him twice. 

The instructions from the AED were extremely helpful. To be able to listen to an actual voice calmed us down and helped us in this kind of situation, especially when people around us were antsy.”

After his second shock, Bianka heard Rick take a breath. By the time the EMTs arrived, Rick was conscious.

“I knew something had happened,” says Rick. “In the ambulance, the EMT asked me what day it was, and I said, ‘Saturday, and I’m supposed to see the film Miracles to Heaven at 5:45.’ I didn’t think I was going to be one.” At the hospital, Rick received two stents in his “widow maker” artery.

Rick Wilburn

Rick Wilburn and his rescuer, Bianka Raquel Ruiz 

Rick also never imagined that the same equipment—AEDs, he has been selling for 20 years to help others would one day save his life. “The AED saved my life. It’s that simple. 

If not for the AED, I would not be here today, and my daughter would not have a father today. I want to raise awareness of this lifesaving device.” 

He also wants to raise awareness of the importance of taking care of yourself so he can give people hope. “If I hadn’t been in the best shape of my life, I doubt I would be alive. If I can get one person off the couch, that’s what I want to do.” Rick continues to eat well and work out, achieving a personal best recently at a 5K.

Rick now calls each day a “Bonus Day.”


The ZOLL AED Plus, the first and only Full-Rescue AED that provides Real CPR Help® for depth and rate of chest compressions, audibly coaches rescuers with prompts that say “Push Harder” or “Good Compressions” during CPR.

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Contact Wilburn Medical for More Information on the Zoll AED Line of Products 
or give us a Call at 1-336-996-6820 , 1-877-WILBURN (1-877-945-2876).

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"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."

Matthew 7:12 (NIV)

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