Neighbors Pitch In To Save Man’s Life

It was just another cold winter’s evening in tiny Goodhue, Minn., where the population is less than 1,000 and they don’t even have a traffic light. Howard Snitzer, 54, was heading into Don’s Foods to buy some groceries, 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 would become the longest, successful out-of-hospital resuscitation ever. Across the street, brothers Roy and Al Lodermeier, of Roy and Al’s Auto Service, heard the commotion and hurried over. As news spread, the numbers grew. The first team of responders in Goodhue 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 the astonishing scene. Mary Svoboda, a Mayo Clinic flight nurse who flew in on the emergency helicopter said it was unbelievalbe. “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. Snitzer’s heart was shocked 12 times and intravenous drugs were administered. When they finally had a pulse and a regular heart beat, Snitzer was airlifted to the Mayo Clinic. After 10 days, he was released from the hospital — miraculously healthy and incredibly grateful.