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NORMA’S STORY: It was just another Wednesday for Norma Spees of Marion, but in a matter of minutes, it wasn’t so typical anymore. The 79-year-old was in the middle of her aquatics class at The HUB when she got a funny feeling, so she took a break and stood along the side of the pool for a little bit. Still not feeling herself, Norma told the instructor she had to leave. Norma was on her way out the door when she felt the need to sit down and rest.

A HUB employee quickly noticed Norma was having trouble and asked her if she was ok. Norma, who has a defibrillator, was having difficulty breathing, so the employee called for help. “It was scary,” Norma admitted. Aquatics Coordinator Chris Georgantas was able to administer oxygen as staff called 911 for help. Marion Life Line arrived quickly and transported Norma to Heartland Regional Medical Center, where she was told she had had a heart attack. She was in the hospital for four days with three blockages and two stents.

Hospital staff told Norma’s family she was at the right place at the right time. Had she not been at The HUB, received oxygen, and made it to the hospital when she did, Norma likely would not have survived. “Chris was so calm and helped me feel better,” said Norma. If she had been driving, or at home on the other side of town, Norma truly believes “she would have met that big long train.”

Norma registered to be a Hubber before the facility opened and started working out in the fitness center, before deciding to take her workout to the water. Today, Norma is feeling good and grateful to be back in her water aerobics class.

The HUB Team is happy to have Norma as a Hubber! We’re so glad she’s back in the Heartland Regional Aquatics Center and doing well!

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