Bystanders spring into action to save life of man at Christmas e - KMOV.com

Bystanders spring into action to save life of man at Christmas event in South County

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Mark Sienkiewicz. Credit: KMOV Mark Sienkiewicz. Credit: KMOV
SOUTH ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV.com) -

What was supposed to be a memorable evening celebrating the holidays with family and friends quickly took a frightening turn at a local parish.

Earlier in December, Mark Sienkiewicz and his wife Sue were at St. Simon the Apostle in South County enjoying a Knights of Columbus Christmas event in which one of their grandsons was performing.

“It was fun for the first couple of minutes, then it was crazy,” said Mark’s wife Sue Sienkiewicz.

“The St, Mary’s band started playing a couple of songs and by the second song, I was out, next thing I knew, I was at St. Anthony’s ER,” said Mark.

Mark suffered a heart attack.

“When I got out of the operating room, the doctor who did my operation said ‘if you weren’t there, you would’ve died.’ I’ll never forget that,” Mark said.

A number people at the church jumped into the action. Someone performed CPR.

“A guy ran across the street and got the ambulance and fire department to come right over,” Mark said.

Someone else ran to get an Automated External Defibrillator or AED. The preschool director knew how to use it.

“To watch the life drain out of him, then shock him with AED, he instantly grasped and came right back,” said Michele Snyder, who used the AED on Mark.

They had to shock him again before taking him to St. Anthony’s Medical Center where he had a stent put in.

“It was everyone’s help, thank you, Lord, the reason he is here today,” said Sue.

After what Mark calls the ‘most terrifying’ wake up call, he is now changing his lifestyle and eating healthier.

St. Anthony Medical Center donated the AED used to save Mark’s life and another AED to St. Simon the Apostle.

The hospital has donated a number AED’s to churches and community centers.

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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