Sep 26, 2018 Latest post:
Jun 15, 2020
Welcome to Dad's CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting. Here is how Dad's story started.
Sunday, September 23rd, 2018 Dad and Mom were at their camper in Ortonville, MN on Big Stone Lake. Their camper is at a beautiful resort just slightly out of town called Rustling Elms. They decided it was time to winterize their camper and wrap up camping season. Throughout the morning, Dad was cleaning out the shed, getting pontoon ready to go back to Fargo, and putting the camper back together with Mom. The last thing they needed to do was to put in the slide out on the camper. Dad only had a 6 foot ladder so to see the rubber seal going into the camper he had to lay on his chest to see it. After Mom and him got it in, he complained that his chest hurt. After my mom asked if he was okay, he said it was probably just because he was laying on his chest. Mom asked if he had any pain in his arm and he said no and they carried on with their day.
Before they left for Fargo, they walked up to the resorts office to talk to the owner and her daughter, Donna and Shawnda. Mom and Dad were inquiring about a camper that might go up for sale. Donna had a key so Mom and Dad went to go take a look but they were still unable to get in. Dad's body language was off and Mom asked again, "Are you ok?" He said, "No, I am not. I don't feel good." They got back to the office, sat down, and called the owner of the camper to ask how much he wanted for it. While Dad was talking on the phone, he started leaning forward. Everyone thought he was reaching for something. He just kept going down when Donna yelled he was having a heart attack. Mom yelled to call 911 and she started compressions right away. This was at about noon. Shawnda took over compressions as Mom talked to 911. Donna went and got two RNs that came to take over compressions. Charlie and David did CPR until paramedics showed up. Paramedics did CPR until he went into V-tach and shocked him altogether, three times to get a pulse at about 12:45. Dad took an ambulance ride to the hospital in Ortonville and Mom rode with the sheriff. Kyle and I finally got back from fishing on the opposite side of the lake but they were already gone. We got a ride from Shawnda while Ava and Sawyer stayed with Donna, David and Charlie. (Which we are so grateful for.)
Once at the hospital, even though he was breathing on his own, they bagged him to give his lungs a break.I asked if this was hurting him and they said it was probably uncomfortable since he was fighting it being down his throat. They had him hooked up to many machines and monitors while they tried to stabilize him. They contacted Fargo and they got the helicopter ready to leave. Dad was loaded up and left Ortonville at about 1:45. He had a 45 minute flight while Mom and I still had a two hour drive. We brainstormed options and decided that I would drive Mom back to Fargo with Dad's truck and disconnect the pontoon. Kyle pulled the pontoon back for them.
After we left we just sat in silence replaying what just happened. Thinking about how Tracy and Heather need to know, we decided to wait a little bit since he was going to take 45 minutes to get to Fargo. Once it was closer to the time, I called one and Mom called the other at the same exact time to tell them about Dad. Tracy, Shawn and Heather, Sydney Tanner were here waiting for Dad to arrive. They were sent to a waiting room while more and more amazing family showed up for Dad. This was the beginning of our hospital stay at Fargo Sanford's ICU.