Love of Dance "Helps" Save 72-Year-Old’s Life


Plano, Texas – Dr. Jiahuan Ding, 72, first turned to dancing in 2013 after he survived a stroke. Ironically, it was dancing that helped save his life when he collapsed in sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in July.

Dr. Jiahuan Ding

He and his wife, Dr. Bingzhi Yang, are regulars at the dance hall at the Plano, Texas recreation center and were dancing at the time. Several Good Samaritans witnessed his collapse and rushed to help. For one of the rescuers, it wasn’t the first time she helped save someone’s life.

Hearing the cries, Recreation Coordinator Pam Perry rushed into the dance hall and immediately began chest compressions. "While I was waiting on everybody to get there to help with the AED, that's all I thought about was just start the compressions," said Perry.

A nurse from the Wellness Center was on site and came to help with the compressions. Witnesses had already called 911, and another brought the ZOLL® AED Plus® from just down the hall.

"The AED actually prompts you whether or not to administer a shock, which it did. It administered a shock to him. It also tells you to continue CPR," Perry explained.

After about four minutes, their efforts worked. Dr. Ding's pulse returned. "He was coming to. In fact, he had raised his arm up and was trying to sit up as the paramedics walked in," said Perry.

Dr. Ding was hospitalized for one week and underwent rehab for another two, according to his family. And he returned to the dance floor as soon as he could. Dr. Ding now not only has a second chance at life, but the father and grandfather will soon get to celebrate his fiftieth wedding anniversary.

And it turns out this was not Perry's first rescue. Ten years ago, she performed CPR on another man who collapsed in the fitness center. He also survived.

"It's exciting; it's rewarding that your training has paid off," said Perry.

All recreation employees are required to complete CPR and AED training every two years, according to Perry. She'd recently undergone a refresher course in February.

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