A life saved

Emergency Care
“Craig suffered a massive cardiac arrest in April 2016. With the help of Carris Health - Redwood Hospital’s emergency team, he survived and is doing well today. “I’m here because of Carris Health - Redwood Hospital,” Craig said with a smile as he reflected back on his story.”

Craig’s day began as usual, but after a walk in Ramsey park preparing for Night Falls, his day took a very quick and dire turn. Craig’s wife Cindy recounted, “I saw his arm reaching for the air conditioning and when I turned to look at him, he was unconscious.” Cindy quickly realized Craig was in bad shape and called 911 while driving to the hospital. Craig had stopped gasping for breath. “His hand was cold about half-way to the hospital,” Cindy said as she described the 1.5 miles drive through town.

North Ambulance crew was already at the hospital and Redwood Area Hospital’s ER team was quick to action when they arrived. For seven and a half minutes, the nurses, emergency physician, and North EMTs took turns administering CPR and working tirelessly to resuscitate Craig. They had to shock his body three times before they got him back. During this frightening time, Cindy said the ER team was “very supportive, and kept me updated. We are so thankful for all of them.”

Emergency nurse Marley Braun, RN, recalls, “Craig indeed had lost consciousness and his heart was in ventricular fibrillation (non-perfusing heart rhythm). The quick actions of his wife in getting him to the hospital, the immediate CPR, the defibrillation (electric shocks), and the medications all helped to get his heart beating again.”

The doctors and nurses then stabilized Craig so he could be flown out to a hospital in the Twin Cities to receive further care. Five days later, he awoke from an induced coma and that same day he was sitting up in a chair with no brain damage. He was soon home from the hospital and is now back to life as usual, thankful for this second chance at life. “If the hospital would have been further away, I really don’t think I would be here.”

According to the American Heart Association (2017), 90% of people who suffer an out-of-the-hospital cardiac arrest do not survive.

“Craig is definitely a success story and one we will never forget,” said Braun.

Craig received 14 weeks of cardiac rehab services at the Redwood Area Hospital as he recuperated. “I couldn’t drive for six months, so the ability to receive care right here in town was a really big help,” explained Craig. “It is all set up very well.”