A long time and well known South Dakota referee from Dimock has officiated hundreds of games over the years, but the one in the O'Gorman gym in late January will always stick out in his mind. It was during that game that Dan Sudbeck died. Had it not been for the quick thinking reaction of O'G trainers and an Automated External Defibrillator, Dan would probably not be here today. Nancy Naeve Brown went to Parkston to talk to the grateful man during cardiac rehab.
58 year old Dan Sudbeck prides himself on being in shape. As a long time high school football and basketball ref, he has to be stay in good physical condition. So no one was more shocked than Dan to learn he had literally been shocked back-to-life after going in to cardiac arrest at halftime during the girls O'Gorman-Yankton basketball game in Sioux Falls on January 27th.
Dan says, "All at once I felt like I was going to faint. I had no pains, no chest or arm pain none of the he typical symptoms. I remember seeing a flash. I just knew I was going to faint. Apparently I slumped back in my chair, I didn't fall on the floor but I passed out."
Dan was in the O'G locker room at the time and everyone around him immediately jumped in to action.
Dan says, "I had good trainers in there. One did CPR on me right away which kept the blood in my heart. Once they hooked up the AED it said no pulse and shock advised or whatever it said. It shocked me once and I came right to and started remembering everything."
Here's where this story takes an ironic twist. Dan's wife Pat Sudbeck works for Avera Queen of Peace in Mitchell and 10 years ago she was part of a committee that wrote a grant to get AED's in schools in Parkston. That town is closest to Dimock and where here children all went to school. It's the same thing that saved Dan's life.
Pat says, "It truly came full circle. His life was spared because of an AED and it was purchased through the Avera Heart Hospital who I have worked with in the last 10 years to deliver AEDs to several businesses and schools in southeast South Dakota."
Dan ended up having triple bypass open heart surgery at the Avera Heart Hospital and now his work out routine consists of cardiac rehab at Avera St. Benedict in Parkston 3 days a week and walking daily. The Sudbecks truly believe divine intervention, plus Avera's ministry to get AED's in as many places as possible played a hand in everything that played out in the gym that January night. Cheating death is something this ref doesn't take lightly.
At Dan's last appointment with cardiologists at the Avera Heart Hospital he was cleared for driving and found out this heart was not damaged at all from the cardiac arrest. He plans to be back in stripes and on the grid-iron come this football season.
For more information about getting an AED contact the Avera Heart Hospital
Or in the Mitchell area Avera Queen of Peace: