Here is another example of how the quick actions of a good Samaritan helped save a person's life. But in this instance, the two were long time friends and in the right place at the right time. Nancy Naeve Brown takes us to Aberdeen for the story.
Scott Holzer and Mel Imbery have a lot in common. Both live in Aberdeen, both love to go to Roncalli sporting events, both love to hang out with Mel's son Todd to catch a few fish but now something else bonds them: appreciation for life and for each other.
A few months ago Scott and Mel were helping put in this granite countertop in the basement of Mel's son's house. Scott and Todd are neighbors and close friends.
Mel says, "Four of us carried a big piece of granite down and as we approached the countertop of it I was in between it and I knew I needed to move and that's all I remember."
At first Scott thought Mel had passed out from the weight of maneuvering the heavy granite. They got him flat on the floor and called 911 as a precaution.
Scott says, "At first he was a little coherent and then he went out. At that point I knew he wasn't breathing anymore. I checked for a pulse and couldn't find one. I immediately started CPR."
Scott Holzer is a Certified Medical Dosimetrist in the radiology department at the Avera St. Luke's Cancer Care Center. Because he's in the medical field he gets re-certified in CPR every 2 years. Having said that, he is not used to emergency situations like this.
Scott says, "We are taught in CPR that timing is critical. The faster you can initiate things the better. So the minute Mel stopped breathing and lost his pulse I initiated CPR. "
Mel says, "I give all the credit to Scott Holzer. He obviously brought me back to life. Of course I didn't know I was gone. He probably worked on me 15 minutes before the ambulance got there."
When paramedics got there they shocked him with a defib.. and rushed him to the ER where cardiologists were standing by.
When Mel went into the Avera St. Luke's Cath Lab they put 2 stents in his main coronary artery back to back.
Mel says, "I feel great, from that point on and I still do. I got excellent care at Avera St. Luke's. I couldn't ask for better."
Scott says, "We've always done stuff together. I just thought I'm not going to lose my fishing partner. I'm looking forward to next summer to go fishing."
They say location and timing is everything. Had Scott not been with Mel when he went into cardiac arrest to start CPR immediately he would have likely never made it to the hospital. Had cardiologist not been there to place a stent immediately they say he most likely wouldn't have survived a trip to Sioux Falls. Thank goodness death was not to be, not that day.