Good Samaritan in serious, but stable condition after heart attack on I-94
By: Trent Artus
DUNN COUNTY (WQOW) - An act of kindness is repaid moments later in a strange turn of events on I-94.
It all started on Saturday night. A man from Canada stopped to help two Eau Claire women along the interstate, east of Menominee.
Victor Giesbrecht had just finished helping change a flat tire along I-94.
"They had changed the tire, got back in their vehicle," says Kate Sampson, Wisconsin State Patrol. "The pickup truck the male was in took off first, continued on the road and he told his wife he needed help now, pulled over to the side of the road."
Within moments, Giesbrecht wasn't breathing and had no pulse. Sara Berg and Lisa Meier, the two women he helped moments earlier, stopped to make sure everything was okay.
"I had checked vitals after she told me this, confirmed there was no pulse or breathing and just started from there," says Sampson.
"I helped the trooper pull the gentleman out of the car and I assisted in CPR," says Michael Sinclair, Dunn County Sheriff's Office reserve deputy. "I just let the training takeover and hopefully everything worked out for the positive."
Sampson, Berg and Sinclair all performed CPR while another deputy prepared an AED.
"The noise on the interstate as so loud that I wasn't able to assist with CPR, I had to hold my ear right to the AED and listen to what it was saying," says Scott Pace, Dunn County Sheriff's Office deputy.
After three attempts with the AED, Giesbrecht started breathing again.
"I couldn't tell you how many minutes it was, it seemed like forever at the time, but honestly it was a thrill to feel a faint heartbeat," says Sampson. "Early CPR, early AED was the key to everything. If CPR hadn't been started, the outcome might have been different."
Giesbrecht is in serious, but stable condition at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. His wife says she is thankful for everyone that helped out.
Another big part of the rescue was having the AED available. Not all law enforcement carries those devices, but Dunn County is able to have them in their squads thanks to fundraising efforts by the Rotary Club and United Way.