WEST MELBOURNE, Fla. — It was something she hoped she would never have to use, but when a man dropped to the ground from a massive heart attack, a West Melbourne woman sprang into action.

  • Woman saves man who had heart attack at Andretti Thrill Park
  • Shaelyn Trowell performed CPR on the 57-year-old for 18 minutes
  • Trowell said it was the 1st time she performed CPR in real-life scenario
  • Get more Brevard County coverage

The scene was Melbourne's Andretti Thrill Park on Saturday, November 16.

Bob Phelps, his wife Linda, and their family, visiting from Jensen Beach, were in town celebrating Linda's 7-year-old nephew's birthday.

"I rode the coaster with my granddaughter, then went to the go karts and rode those," Bob Phelps remembers.

That's when the fun turned frightening.

"We were joking about how we just beat them, and that's the last thing I remember," he said.

Phelps collapsed on the pavement, the victim of a massive heart attack.

"I saw his eyes roll to the back of his head and he went down," Linda Phelps told Spectrum News 13, cringing.

Then fate stepped in — Shaelyn Trowell, visiting the park with her two young girls, was right there.

"Maybe two yards (away)," Trowell said. "He wasn't breathing, he was turning colors, something had to be done."

Trowell knew exactly what needed to be done. It was time for her CPR certification to kick into high gear.

"You fight how you train. It's just something you instantly know how to do," she said.

A park employee called 911.​ Trowell later found out she performed CPR on the 57-year-old for 18 minutes.

Help arrived and Phelps woke up at Holmes Regional.

"The ICU doctors that saw me said if she had not been at the park that day, I would not be here today," he tells us.

It's the first time Trowell has performed CPR for real. She has this message: Learn it.

"You realize the power you have to help somebody. It's something I hope everyone goes and does, and learns," she says.

Trowell's CPR trainer has an upcoming certification class in Melbourne. The CPR class will donate 20 percent of sign-up fees to the Phelps family medical expenses. 

For info on how to sign up, call Melissa at 321-215-4788, extension 103.

Andretti Thrill Park will give a free admission ticket to anyone who attends the class.