While soon-to-be 2009 PGA Champion Y.E. Yang was fighting for the trophy, John Swanson was fighting for his life.
The Mahtomedi resident had suffered a heart attack while walking around Hazeltine National Golf Club.
Seven years later, Swanson is out on the courses again at the Ryder Cup, and was able to thank the three Ridgeview Chaska Clinic paramedics who saved his life — Dr. David Larson, Brandy Graef and Steve Bobrowske.
“It was a hot day and I collapsed and they were right there on the scene,” he said. Though his doctors are unsure of what exactly caused the heart attack, they told Swanson it may have been from a combination of dehydration, stress and the heat that day.
After Swanson stayed at Ridgeview, he was transported to Abbott Northwestern Hospital where doctors found that his heart had rhythm issues. The next day they surgically placed a defibrillator implant to keep his heart healthy.
“My stay at Ridgeview’s Cardiac/Intensive Care Unit left a lasting impression: amazing emergency staff, life-saving technology and compassionate support staff so focused on me,” Swanson recounted in an article on the hospital’s website.
The complication also gave Swanson a new friend, Larson. The two kept in touch after the event and later found out their sons worked together.
“Having a near-death experience rattles a person’s core,” Swanson said. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you guys.”
“Thank you to everyone for the great care,” he added.