Elk River man saves wife having a heart attack with CPR

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An Elk River, Minn. man turned a moment of panic into a moment of heroics. He jumped into action when his wife went into cardiac arrest and saved her life.

Monday afternoon Eddie Greenwaldt sat in his home, sharing a laugh with the love of his life. Eddie says just six weeks ago, he didn’t know if he’d have a chance to do that ever again. 

“All of the sudden I was talking to her, and she started making noises over there in the chair, and I went over there and shook her, and nothing happened,” said Eddie.

Judy was having a heart attack. 

“The gentleman was crying and said that his wife wasn’t breathing, and that he thought she was having a heart attack,” said Chris Krajsa, the Sherburne County 911 dispatcher who answered Eddie’s call.

“They told me to drag her out of the chair, and start CPR, which I didn’t know how to do,” said Eddie.

With dispatchers’ help, Eddie started CPR while first responders rushed to his side.

“I was so glad to see that front door burst open, those first two guys come in,” said Eddie. “You can’t believe it." 

“I grabbed my medical bag while Kevin went inside right away,” said Elk River Police Officer Brandon Martin.

“When I got here, the patient was in cardiac arrest, and the police officers were doing CPR on her,” said Don Schulte, a paramedic.

“When they called in and they said that they administered the first shock, and the second shock, then the third shock, we didn’t honestly expect the results that we got,” said Krajsa.

Now, six weeks later, Judy sits side-by-side with her husband. 

“We walked out, and I told the guy out front to take our picture because this wasn’t supposed to happen,” said Eddie.

“I’m just glad to have a second chance at life, and take every day that I’ve got,” said Judy.

The couple of 58 years credits Judy’s life to those first responders, but the responders say it was Eddie who saved her life. 

"Ed is really the hero by starting CPR right away,” said Owen DeCathelineau, an Elk River EMT.

“I give him all the credit,” said Martin. “Had he not taken the steps and listened to the dispatcher, and give CPR, Judy may not be here.” 

“Could have been a lonely life, I’ll tell ya,” said Eddie.

At a City Council meeting last week the officers, paramedics, and EMTs were given life-saving awards for the hand they had in saving Judy's life. Eddie also received an award.