10 Years Ago Minnesotans Became Legendary Less Than 30 Minutes From Rochester

January 5, 2011 was a cool evening in SE Minnesota. It was a crisp 18 or so degrees when Rochester's Mayo Clinic got the call...get Mayo 1 in the air and point it toward  Goodhue...there's a man with no pulse!

The life saving machine was put into motion while in Goodhue, Minnesota, a man's life depended on friends and neighbors and strangers, too. And it's those people, the friends, neighbors, and strangers that became Legendary Minnesotans that day.

What Happened January 5, 2011 That's So Legendary?

Mayo Clinic

54-year-old Howard Snitzer was on his way to Don's Foods to get some groceries when he had a massive heart attack and fell to the sidewalk. According to ABC News,

While the grocery clerk called 911, the only customer in the store, an off-duty corrections officer, rushed to Snitzer's side and began what could be the longest, successful out-of-hospital resuscitation ever. Across the street, Roy and Al Lodermeier, of Roy and Al's Auto Service, heard the commotion and hurried over.

That's how it started, and soon ambulances started arriving from other towns with EMTs to help. In all, almost two dozen people helped keep Howard alive with CPR for an astounding 96 minutes.

When the paramedics arrived via helicopter, they witnessed an astonishing scene. Mary Svoboda, a Mayo Clinic flight nurse...said "it was unbelievable. There were probably 20 in line, waiting their turn to do CPR. They just kept cycling through." (ABC News)

Snitzer's heart took 12 shocks, he was given intravenous drugs, and when they finally had a pulse, and his heart started beating regularly, away he went on Mayo 1.

Mayo Clinic - Click for link

On ABC News, Dr. Roger White said, "If he had not had CPR, and good CPR, he would not have survived," White said. "CPR made all the difference."

For his part, when reunited with his life savers, Howard said, "I think it's the quality of the person...We're in small-town America, hard-working people. I happened to have a king-size heart attack in the right place and the right time, and these guys would not give up."

It Was A Perfect Union of Human Talent and Technology

There's also a technology piece to this. CPR would never have gone on so long if it hadn't been for capnography, "In Snitzer’s case, the capnography was telling White and the first responders to keep going, despite the lack of a pulse and the passing of the minutes."

The article that tells the tech side of the story is here.

Personal Note: When I realized I was running across so many stories about Legendary Minnesotans, I knew I had to make a series. The same theme runs through all the stories. Good people doing good things. It's important to me that these stories get out there again because it's a reminder how we're most just good people working our work, living our life and happy to help others.   (James Rabe)

As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know: james.rabe@townsquaremedia.com

Other Articles from the Legendary Series

Legendary Minnesotan: The 9-Year-Old That Won A 10k By Mistake 

PhanuwatNandee, Thinkstock

Legend or Lie: Minnesota Used to Have Cold Case Playing Cards 

BCA

Legendary Minnesotans - The Captured Confederate Flag We Won't Give Back 

Minnesota Historical Society

Minnesota Legend - The Inspector That Saved A Kid's Hot Dog Stand

CREDIT: CNBC (link in video)

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