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Heart Attack Victim, Doctor Stress Importance Of CPR

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A Minneapolis man who nearly lost his life to a heart attack while running 10 days ago -- and the doctor who saved his life -- made a plea for more to learn CPR Thursday morning at Hennepin County Medical Center.

There's being in the right place at the right time, and there is sheer good luck. When it comes to surviving his life-threatening major heart attack -- suffered while running his daily 14 miles -- long distance runner John Palda Jr. of Minneapolis says both apply. He doesn't remember much leading up to the heart attack that stopped his breathing, made him turn blue and lifeless.

"I was about a mile from my home on Broadway and in the middle of the bridge. There were five or so people huddled around me, not really knowing what to do. Some didn't know CPR, others not wanting to get involved," said Palda.

Luckily for him, workout expert Dr. Joanna Moore of Hennepin County Medical Center was driving by. And since she saw no medical personal or first responders on scene, she ran to Palda's aid. She began massaging his chest. The chest compressions, started blood to again flow through Palda's heart, bringing color back to his complexion and getting him to breathe again.

"He had the best outcome. You have to have very quick initiation of bystander CPR in addition to immediate paramedic aid," Moore told WCCO.

Palda's recovery after spending nine days in the hospital is proof positive, Moore says, that having professional paramedics on call and a trauma center nearby is not enough. More people need to learn CPR, she says.

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