ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — While many in the Byron community come together on fall Friday nights for football, an emergency situation brought some even closer. Quick action saved a man’s life.
October 4th, 2019 started out being a typical football Friday until Larry Oelkers got into the car. “Put the keys in and that’s when I knew there was something not right that’s all I know other than some ambulance lights” said Oelkers.
He suffered a heart attack. His long time companion Doris Jensen was right next to him.
“I knew life was changing right in front of me you know it’s a question of are we gonna pull through or not,” Jensen said. She sprang into action and called Oelkers’s daughter Stacy Douglas who was in the stands.
“I just jumped up in the stands and said, my dad’s having a heart attack, I need all the help I can get,” Douglas said. “All these people were following me, some were passing me.”
Once Douglas got to the parking lot where her father was, she saw people helping including a colleagues.
“She (a nurse on scene) started CPR with him sitting in the car which is was very difficult and then another nurse appeared I don’t know how she arrived or she heard our call or somebody had gotten her by then but she was feeling for a pulse in the neck the whole time,” Jensen said.
Oelkers survived his heart attack, but doctors explained to Douglas, the odds weren’t on her father side, “We were told we should be planning a funeral and that my dad was less than 1% chance that he would survive this medical emergency.”
Douglas, a nurse herself is well aware of what saved her father’s life.
“Our hearts are full of gratitude because we know being a nurse and working close with EMS, I know how this scenario should of turned out,” Douglas said. “Early bystander CPR is probably one of thee most important skills in the chain of survival,” Douglas said that is what saved Oelkers life. “I credit his life to the quick thinking and the heroic efforts of the people that night.”
Because of the quick and efficient help of the community Oelkers is able to look forward on his life, “I’m just gonna tell them you guys saved my life, I’m so thankful for ya.” He’s also looking forward to seeing Byron in the playoffs.
Oelkers ended up undergoing a triple bypass surgery and is recovering at home.