Confronting moment witnesses save young woman who collapsed at gym

Confronting video shows how witnesses jumped into action when a young woman collapsed at a Sunshine Coast gym.

The footage recorded as Emily Counter, 20, had a seizure and went into cardiac arrest while working out at Anytime Fitness in Noosa last October.

Ms Counter can be seen in the video rowing in a rhythm, but then she suddenly slowed, paused and collapsed to the ground beside the machine.

“I was completely out of it and like I don’t remember anything,” Ms Counter told 7News.

Confronting footage shows the moment Emily Counter suddenly collapsed while on the rowing machine. Source: 7News

Within seconds everyone else in the gym jumped into action, by calling triple zero and starting CPR.

Their heroics were also captured on camera.

“Everyone came together and helped out,” gym owner Aaron Petterson said.

“It was pretty scary, especially because Em was so young and healthy.”

Quick-thinking witnesses rushed to Emily Counter’s aid and began performing CPR. Source: 7News
The gym’s owner rushed to grab a defibrillator, and the young woman believes without it she would not be here today. Source: 7News

Mr Petterson dashed in to help with a defibrillator.

“We got everyone to stand back and we had to press the button and she jumped up just like it was on a movie,” Mr Petterson recalled.

It was a decision and device that kick-started her heart, and Ms Counter said without it she wouldn’t be here today.

The 20-year-old spent three days in a coma and needed open heart surgery, after tests revealed she had a rare disease called Bland-White-Garland Syndrome.

“I’m one in 300,000. Most don’t survive past infancy if they’ve got this condition,” Ms Counter said.

Ms Counter spent three days in a coma and needed open heart surgery. Source: 7News

Four months after the life-changing work-out she is finally back and feeling better than ever.

“I’ve got a lot more energy than I did before,” she said.

She also has a new mission – to get defibrillators in every Australian gym.

“Because it can happen to anyone at any time,” Ms Counter said.