Woman who had heart attack at Target Field meets her responders
By TIM HARLOW, Star Tribune
May 19, 2010
Pat Hall remembers walking into Target Field last month during her first visit to the Twins' new stadium. She remembers sitting in the front row of Section 103, almost close enough to touch the players. The last things she remembers is going up the steps to use the restroom during the seventh-inning stretch.
Just as she reached the concourse, her legs went limp, she dropped her open can of pop and fell into the arms of an usher.
Hall, 66, of Richfield, had suffered cardiac arrest. Immediately a swarm of volunteer paramedics, first responders and doctors rushed to her aid to administer CPR, shock her heart and get her to the hospital.
On Wednesday, Hall and her husband, Bob, were at Hennepin County Medical Center to celebrate what's being called "the best save at the ballpark" and to meet and thank many of those who acted so quickly to keep her alive.
"I don't remember any of you, but I remember you in my prayers everyday," she said during the press conference which coincided with National Emergency Medical Services week. Wearing a Twins shirt with a heart on it, she pointed to it and said, "I have this one here and I still have mine."
Doctors are still unsure what caused her to collapse April 21, but Dr. Jeff Ho, emergency physician at HCMC who leads the volunteers at the ballpark, said the pre-hospital care she received from Target Field staff led to the "successful resuscitation of Mrs. Hall."
Hall was a guest of her employer, the Cremation Society of Minnesota. She told her husband she felt chilly and began climbing the 40 steps from the field to the concourse. At the top, she passed out, turned gray and fell into the arms of usher Robert Micek. He called for help and within a minute, first responder Rachel Gordon was on the scene. Gordon, who works as a heart nurse at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, began compression until paramedics arrived. Target Guest Services found her husband, told him what had happened, and escorted him to his wife.
The 325-member Twins Guest Services staff, including the volunteer medical staff, attended classes and training before the season started to prepare for such incidents, but this was the first medical emergency at Target Field other than fans getting hit with foul balls.
"I saw Pat already being treated; it was like an out-of-body experience, you don't want to believe what you are seeing," Bob said. "They treated her with honor and dignity. They obviously practiced. They knew what they were doing."
Obviously Hall missed the last part of the Twins 6-0 win over Cleveland, but she is getting another chance. Matt Hoy, the team's vice president of operations, presented her with tickets to an upcoming game and told her she has to "see the whole game."
Hall said she wasn't a big fan of ballpark food, but she's eager to get back to Target Field to watch the team she's rooted for most of her life, under one condition:
"I want to be sure all these people are working that night," she said.
She gave them a small gift, but said "I don't think I know how to thank you for one's life."
(Photo from Kare11.com)