Anesthesiologist saves a life on the tennis court


Cedarville – Quick reflexes and execution are key factors in winning a tennis match, but for Dr. John Vitality, an anesthesiologist, it also made a difference in saving the life of his friend Abraham Awabi when he had a heart attack.

Vitality, of Beavercreek, and Owabi, 81, of Cedarville, were playing a tennis match on Cedarville University’s tennis courts on July 8 before Owabi fell to the ground.

“We just played one game,” Vitality said. “When I turned around, he was lying on the floor on his back, unresponsive.”

Upon arriving at my worship, Vitality was unable to feel a pulse, so he immediately performed chest compressions (CPR) on my worshiper. Once the University of Cedarville response team, including Don Parvin, the campus safety leader, Jason Neri, the campus safety officer, and the university’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team, supported the Obadi revival efforts.

“When Cedarville University Emergency Medical Services and campus safety personnel arrived, they were able to use an automatic external defibrillator to resuscitate his pulse and quickly transport him to the hospital,” Vitality said.

Without a quick thought for Vitality and the other first responders, Awabdi may not have made it to the hospital, where he’s so recovered that he can go home three days later.

“The survival rate for people who go into cardiac arrest is only 12 percent, which is very rare,” said Elizabeth Sheridan, EMS coordinator at Miami Valley Hospital (main campus) and Beavercreek Emergency Center.

First responders for Vitaliti and Cedarville were honored by Premier Health in a special ceremony on August 9.

“These circumstances point to divine intervention,” Vitality said. “God put me there at the right time because the Lord had more plans for my father.”

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