Howard Snitzer, 54, was heading to buy groceries at Don’s Foods, when he crumpled to the sidewalk, suffering a massive heart attack.
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.
As news spread, the numbers grew. The team of first responders in Goodhue, Minnesota, is made up entirely of volunteers. In total, about two dozen pairs of hands worked to the point of exhaustion to save Snitzer’s life in a CPR marathon.
When the paramedics arrived via helicopter, they witnessed an astonishing scene. Mary Svoboda, a Mayo Clinic flight nurse who flew in on the emergency helicopter, said “it was unbelievable. There were probably 20 in line, waiting their turn to do CPR. They just kept cycling through.”
The marathon CPR went on for 96 minutes. First responders shocked Snitzer’s heart 12 times, and they administered intravenous drugs. When they finally had a pulse and a regular heart beat a, Snitzer was airlifted to the Mayo Clinic.
After 10 days, he was released from the hospital — miraculously healthy, and incredibly grateful.