Good Deed Helped By Driver

November 9, 2011 by staff 

Good Deed Helped By Driver, A Canadian motorist who suffered cardiac arrest while driving in western Wisconsin is probably alive today because of a good deed he had done for a stranger along the interstate just a few minutes earlier.

According to the Wisconsin State Patrol, Victor Giesbrecht, 61, of Winnipeg was driving east Saturday on Interstate 94, about 15 kilometres east of Menomonie, where he stopped to help a motorist change a tire.

His good deed accomplished and just moments after getting back behind the wheel, Giesbrecht was stricken. His wife, Ann, helped bring their pickup truck to a stop.

Seemingly right on cue, along came the passenger vehicle that had just gotten the roadside help with the tire. Ann Giesbrecht was on the phone and waving her arms.

“It sounds like they said: ‘They helped us, what’s up with them?’” Patrol Sgt. Michael Newton said Monday.

That vehicle stopped, 911 was called and one of its occupants, Sara Berg, began CPR until emergency personnel arrived.

A state trooper discovered Victor Giesbrecht had no pulse and wasn’t breathing. The trooper and a deputy took over CPR, and a second deputy used an automated external defibrillator to deliver three shocks to Giesbrecht. “He started having a pulse on his own and started breathing,” said Sheriff Dennis Smith.

A medical helicopter landed on the interstate and took Giesbrecht to Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. He was in serious condition Monday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

“It was a team event” that saved Giesbrecht’s life in a situation where “every minute counted,” Smith said.

Newton believes that if the Giesbrechts hadn’t stopped and helped with the tire change, his initial rescuer might have remained stranded along the side of the highway too long to play a life-saving role.

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