Hinsdale Parade Participant Saved After Heart Attack on Route
"Miraculous" circumstances led to the rescue of Ronald Raidy of Bartlett, a fire department spokesman said.
Updated at 3:07 p.m.
A man is in stable condition Tuesday at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital after suffering a severe heart attack Monday morning while walking in the Hinsdale Independence Day Parade as a Civil War reenactor, according to the Hinsdale Fire Department.
According to Adventist Hinsdale Hospital senior public relations specialist Lisa Parro, a hospital float full of doctors and nurses was directly behind the reenactment group known as Stanford's Battery when they saw 61-year-old Ronald Raidy of Bartlett collapse and quickly determined he was not breathing and had no pulse.
Hinsdale Police officer Tim Lennox was also close by with an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), a piece of equipment that helped resuscitate Raidy. Tullis said the AED is not an item required by standard police protocol at an event like Monday’s.
“This was truly a miraculous sequence of events,” Tullis said.
Adventist Hinsdale Hospital lead house director Mike Dominguez, RN, was onboard the hospital's float and assisted in giving Raidy CPR. Dominguez said Raidy collapsed "like throwing a switch," which is often a symptom of sudden cardiac death.
If the hospital float had not been behind Raidy, Dominguez said, "The great likelihood is that he would have died."
Tullis said Raidy collapsed near the intersection of Grant and 3rd streets shortly after his group, dressed as Southern Rebels, fired off a shot from the cannon they were pulling. The firefighter did not know if the shot, which did not fire live ammunition, and the heart attack were related. Tullis said the attack was caused by a clogged artery.
“If it didn’t happen when it happened, then it was going to happen eventually,” Tullis said. “It was just very lucky it happened when it did.”
Raidy was not available for media interviews, but was quoted in an email written by Parro.
"I just want to thank everybody," Raidy was quoted in the email as saying. "The doctors, the nurses—everyone at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital has been wonderful. Hinsdale is, without a doubt, one of the best towns."
Tullis said people in the audience at first thought Raidy's collapse was part of the reenactment. The parade was delayed for several minutes.
Lennox and the Hinsdale Hospital float participants used the AED to help re-establish the Raidy’s pulse and CPR was performed until five Hinsdale Fire Department paramedics arrived and loaded the patient into an ambulance.
According to a fire department release, Raidy regained a pulse and began breathing on his own during the ride to the hospital.
"The man died in the street and [the responders] brought him back to life," Tullis said.
According to Dominguez, Raidy is expected to make a full recovery after a quadruple bypass operation Wednesday morning. Dominguez said typical recovery time after such an operation is five to six days.
Parro's email said Raidy has been a member of the Confederate artillery re-enactment group for three years; it was his first time marching in the Hinsdale parade.
"He did not have any history of heart disease nor did he experience any pain or dizziness prior to his cardiac arrest," Parro's email read.