AHA president credits CPR for saving his life

The head of the American Heart Association is speaking out, encouraging everyone to get CPR training after he says it saved his life following his heart attack.
4:55 | 12/26/17

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Transcript for AHA president credits CPR for saving his life
Hey, Paula, turning to an exclusive story from the American heart association, the president of the aha suffering a massive cardiac arrest hours after giving a speech but thanks to his teenage daughter's quick thinking he's sharing an important message that could save lives. At the top of his game, Dr. John Warner, president of the American heart association giving the keynote speech at a major medical conference in California. After my son was born and we were introducing him to his extended family I realized something very disturbing, there were no old men on either side of my family. None. Reporter: Less than 24 hours after giving this speech, Dr. Warner would suffer a heart attack. But I never would have thought I would have one at 52. Reporter: He exercises regularly and watches his diet and does not have the traditional risk factors associated with heart disease like smoking, high cholesterol or high blood pressure. I felt fine that morning and many heart attack victims that have a sudden cardiac arrest get no warning symptoms. Reporter: According to the American heart association about 350,000 Americans suffer a cardiac arrest outside a hospital every year. Only about 10% survive. Immediate cpr can double or triple survival rates. We knew that we needed help immediately. Reporter: Warner's heart attack happened in his hotel room witnessed by his wife Lisa and their two children. He wasn't breathing at this point. He was turning purple. Reporter: Lisa and her son Jacob went to get help. Daughter Lauren stayed. I used my knowledge of cpr and I began to do some chest compressions on him. Reporter: Thankfully professional help wasn't too far behind Warner's hotel was filled with heart doctors, attending the conference. Dr. Tia Raymond and nurse Jamie Garza responded and performed cpr and used the hotel's portable defibrillator to restart his heart, all contributed to saving his life but he says one thing was critical. Cpr was absolutely what saved my life. If I had not received cpr, I wouldn't be here today. Reporter: His son now all too aware genetics may play a role in heart disease taking prevent tiff steps. In many ways I might be next. I think about heating healthier, exercising and also being ready for if this were to happen again. That's what I think about now. As well he should. Our chief medical contributor Dr. Jen Ashton is with us now. This is such a dramatic story. What leaps out to you. One, if it can happen to a ca cardiologist 52, it can happen to anyone. This is the American heart association's message, systems worked. Early cpr, early 911. Excellent cardiac care. That saves lives. Wenow cpr saves lives. Let's get an example. It's called hands only. No rescue breaths necessary. Want to activate 911. Trace the rib cage up to the breastbone and put one hand firmly on the sternum. Lock your hands. There should be a straight line from your shoulder to your hand and then you want to start rapid compressions to the tune of "Stayin' alive" and depress the tern number about two inches. You may feel ribs break. Continue cpr anyway. You're not kidding about "Stayin' ale." Fast and deep. Defibrillators. They're everywhere. People should not be afraid to use them if they are present in someone with cardiac arrest you want to use them, expose bare skin. Pull this off and tells you -- Removing all -- Exactly where to put these electrodes. One here, one there, it will analyze the -- The pictures on the white -- I'll shut that off and analyze the rhythm. If it tells to you deliver a shock you clear from the patient, hit the shock button and it tells you what to do after that. So we can stand back up for just a second and ask you this, this information is truly life saving and we have a really dramatic example of that. You got an e-mail from somebody named Kathy Patterson. Right. Who said, thank you for saving my life. Tell us about that. Last year Christmas day, Dan, you and I were on the air, we were talking about the symptoms of a cardiac event. This woman, 58 years old was watching our segment, recognized those were the exact symptoms she was having, called 911. Is alive today because of it so I believe in this method. And there she is. And I was just e-mailing her today. She's doing great. Many, many lives have been saved. This message, this education is life-saving. People need to know about it. Thank you for doing what you do and being here this morning. Merry post-christmas to you. A look at the forecast with rob.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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