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Medical students save man's life during study break

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Three first-year medical students at Northwestern University got their first real life test this week when they saved a man on Chicago's lakefront. (WLS)

As medical students, they're learning to save lives and three first-year medical students at Northwestern University got their first real life test this week when they saved a man on Chicago's lakefront.

"It was just a combination of being at the right place at the right time," says Carla Berkowitz.

A quick study break turned into a day these students will never forget. Berkowitz, Jessica Quaggin-Smith and Max Kazer were at Lake Shore Park when they noticed a jogger in distress.

"We noticed that his mouth was open, his eyes were open and glazed over," says Quaggin-Smith. "Immediately it didn't look right."

Luckily, the students knew what they had to do.

"We all looked at each other and said, 'We gotta start CPR,'" Berkowtiz says.

They laid the man on the ground. Kazer was the first to start chest compressions.

"We practice on these plastic dummies, we never imagined what it would be like to apply that much force to the human body," Kazer says. "It was exhilarating, but also terrifying at the same time."

For five minutes the group took turns performing CPR. After paramedics arrived, the man had a pulse.

"The doctors told us the reason he's alive, like over 90 percent of it, is because of our actions, because we made the right call and did all the right things," Berkowitz says.

An ER doctor was also in the park at the time and helped the students. The jogger is currently in fair condition at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The students say they hope to meet him when he's ready.
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