AED, quick action credited with helping to save the lives of two men

Five people were recognized for their quick actions that helped save the lives of two men in Saskatoon. File / Global News

Two Saskatoon men have something extra special to celebrate this holiday season – their lives – thanks to the quick actions of bystanders and automated external defibrillators (AED).

Five “everyday heroes” were honoured on Wednesday for their quick thinking that helped save a life.

READ MORE: Peachland retirees taught to save lives

In May, Richard Gryshchuk, 54, was rescued by two lifeguards and another city employee after going into cardiac arrest at a local swimming pool.

Just a little over two weeks ago, Vincent Bitusis, 38, was saved by two bystanders who jumped into action after he went into cardiac arrest while playing basketball.

During both incidents, an automated external defibrillator (AED) was used to bring the men back to life.

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“The game started and it was only three minutes into the basketball and I was looking around for my equipment and then my vision went blurry and that’s the last thing I remember,” Bitusis recalled.

“His lips and mouth were starting to foam already and just the way he looked, there was no choice. You don’t even think about giving him mouth-to-mouth, who this person is – it’s his life you’re trying to save and the AED was a blessing,” Elaine Brecelj said.

“It’s truly an honour and a gift and a true blessing to be able to save somebody’s life.”

READ MORE: Saskatoon a ‘leader’ with AEDs: MD Ambulance

More than 900 businesses and facilities in Saskatoon are equipped with an AED.

At least 23 lives have been saved as result, making Saskatoon a national leader.

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