ALBERT LEA, Minnesota – A man is awake and with his family today after area law enforcement and a bystander intervened to save his life.
On Sunday, February 13, a regular meeting of the Albert Lea American Legion Board of Directors quickly turned into a serious medical emergency.
Freeborn County Sheriff Kurt Freitag explained: “One of our board members said another member of our board had a medical emergency and needed help. .”
Freitag, who was off duty during the incident, immediately called 911.
“I called our dispatcher using 911, told him we needed an ambulance – we got a guy down,” he said.
Along with trained nurse Lynn Koza, who was also in the American Legion, they both began administering CPR.
Freitag recalled the incident, saying, “As soon as he came down we were there and started CPR in pairs.”
Koza also recalled, “We started CPR right away. It’s key; the initial response at the time.”
Albert Lea’s police officer, Megan Evers, was at the scene shortly after. She was trained and ready to use a defibrillator.
Evers said: “The DEA analyzed and they indicated that a shock was necessary. I asked everyone to stand back, I delivered that shock. Shortly after, firefighters and ambulance services arrived to assist in these rescue efforts.”
With their quick thinking, all three made decisions that saved the man’s life.
“If there was a bunch of good conditions for survival, this was it,” Freitag said.
Evers added, “We can do CPR multiple times with an unfortunate outcome, so just to give someone more time with their family, I’m lucky to be part of the chain in that survival for them.”
“Fortunately for us, it went well, so we’re happy he’s still with us,” Koza said.
The man is in intensive care in Rochester, but is conscious and speaking with his family as he awaits surgery to fix some heart issues.
All three also say the incident is a reminder of the importance for everyone to get certified in CPR.
Evers said: “Bystander CPR was key, that first start, the sooner CPR can be administered the better the outcome and we see that. So don’t be afraid to take action because you can be that bond for this survival of this person.”
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