They say it takes a village and for Howard Snitzer, it took just that to bring him back from the dead.
Howard suffered a massive heart attack while on his way to buy groceries. He fell to the sidewalk and almost immediately stopped breathing. In the tiny town of Goodhue, Minnesota, neighborly kindness means witnesses responded right away. The grocery store clerk quickly called 911, while the only other person in the store at the time started to pump Howard's heart.
Across the street, two mechanics at an auto repair shop saw what was happening and quickly rushed over. "He was in trouble," they said. They started to perform CPR in turns, switching with each other when they were exhausted. News quickly spread across town and dozens of kindhearted individuals rushed over to the sidewalk to assist in the first aid response. CPR was given by many different people, from IBM employees to plumbers.
"We just lined up and when one guy had enough, the next guy jumped in," Roy Lodermeier, the mechanic said. The best part of the story? None of the first responders knew anything about the man they were helping.
When paramedics arrived, they were amazed to see about 20 people, lined up and waiting to do CPR.
By the time they got there, Howard's heart had been stopped for over an hour and a half.
Medical personnel shocked his heart and applied intravenous drugs and after all that effort, Howard Snitzer's pulse finally started again.
In all, the first aid lasted about 96 minutes
He was quickly flown to the hospital where he was treated. After 10 days, a healthier Howard was discharged.
A happy reunion was organised to reunite members of that response team with the man they had saved. "I happened to have a king sized heart attack in the right place at the right time," a grateful Howard said, "These guys would not give up."
During the reunion, Howard hugged and spoke to all of the people who saved him. He thanked them for not giving up on a man whom they did not know. For him, their efforts have given him a second chance at life.
"I feel like I have a responsibility to them to live the best life possible and honor the effort they made," he said.
We can't help but agree!