Standing in the waiting room area near the emergency room at the Redwood Area Hospital, Craig and Cindy LaBrie talked about the life-saving efforts performed by the Redwood Area Hospital.

They are convinced if it were not for the existence of the hospital in the community and the great staff who all do their jobs well, that Craig would not be alive today.

What started out as a normal day turned into an emergency. The LaBries were measuring trails in Ramsey Park when Craig began showing the signs of cardiac arrest.

After the initial feeling that something was not quite right, Craig admitted he doesn’t remember any of what happened.

“We got in the truck and I could see something was wrong,” said Cindy, adding Craig was not breathing and was going cold.

Thankfully, said Cindy, the park was just a few minutes away from the hospital. When they arrived, Cindy said the staff took over, and within moments they had him stabilized and ready to be taken on to the metro area for more attention.

Craig was in a coma for five days before he woke up and starting breathing again on his own. The quick response is what made all of the difference.

“There is no question the hospital saved his life,” said Cindy. 

Today, Craig is doing much better, adding there have been no side effects from the incident.

“There was no damage,” he said, adding he has been told the timing of the staff at the hospital was exactly right. “My doctor told me 90 percent of the people who have a similar experience do not survive.”

The LaBries recently helped to recognize the life-saving efforts of the hospital through a program known as My Hospital, My Community.

Sponsored by athenahealth, Inc., the contest focused on creating awareness of and support for the challenges communities face across the country. In recognition of its ongoing dedication to its community, the Redwood Area Hospital was granted $3,000.

It was a video submission Cindy LaBrie entered highlighting their experience that led to their selection as a contest winner.

“We are honored to be recognized as a winner in the My Hospital, My Community contest highlighting Craig’s story,” said Bryan Lydick, Redwood Area Hospital CEO in a recent press release announcing the hospital as a contest winner. “As always, our deepest gratitude goes to our dedicated staff, providers and volunteers who are committed to the well-being of our community 24 hours a day.”

The company known as athenahealth offers network enabled services for medical record, revenue cycle, patient engagement, care coordination and population health services for its hospital and ambulatory clients. Its vision is to “build a national health information backbone to help make healthcare work as it should.”

“At athenahealth, we understand what community hospitals mean to the communities they serve, not just as providers of essential and affordable medical care, but as drivers of the local economy,” said Chad Turner, athenahealth vice-president of hospital solutions in a recent press release. “We are thrilled to continue our support of community hospitals through out My Hospital, My Community contest and to uphold the missions of community hospitals across the country.”

There were more than 250 submissions to the contest.

Craig added his appreciation to the hospital and its staff for saving his life.