Off-duty Minnetonka firefighter makes unlikely life-saving rescue

- It was an emotional reunion Friday afternoon between a heart attack victim who nearly died two and a half weeks ago and the firefighter, who just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

"If he wasn't there, these guys would be planning my funeral,” said Dan Juster, the heart attack victim.

Dan Juster was out on his bike for a leisurely ride along the regional trail through Hopkins when something went horribly wrong. His heart stopped, he had no pulse and he wasn't breathing.

The 59-year-old's only hope: Eric Wold, a Minnetonka firefighter. Wold, never rides his bike, but on this night his car had broken down and the bike was his only choice.

"I felt on his neck for a carotid pulse,” said Wold. “I didn't feel anything, so immediately rolled him over and started CPR at the time."

Wold, with no life-saving tools in the field, did the compressions, until a Hopkins paramedics team could arrive.

"It's amazing. It's a first for me years and years of training. I'm glad you resort to basic training. It really helped. So awesome to see him standing next to us today,” said Wold.

Eventually Juster's heart was re-started and because oxygen continued to get to his brain during immediate life-saving efforts, there was no brain damage. After several days in a medically-induced coma and ICU, Juster is back on his feet and ready for his second shot at life.

Dan has an external defibrillator that he wears to make sure his heart doesn't get out of rhythm.

Doctors still doing testing to figure out what happened and the next treatment options.

As for firefighter Wold, the city of Hopkins is planning to give him a hero life-saving award at an upcoming city council meeting.
 


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