Alexandria, Minnesota (WCCO) – If you have a health emergency, you’ll want to see a doctor. But at Alomere Health in Alexandria, it was the guardian who helped save the doctor’s life.
“About a week before that, I had some issues, flu-like symptoms,” Dr. Amos Zagner said. It was the night of April 29, and since he is a medical professional, Zagner decided to go back to the hospital and get himself checked on a monitor.
This is the last thing he remembers.
Kendall Hofstadt is a guardian of Alomere and just happened upon that wing of the hospital collecting trash. I opened the door and thought out of the corner of my eye I saw some scrubs lying on the floor. I didn’t think of anything, Hofstad said.
Hofstad called for help and after 12 long minutes of CPR, Zagner was flown by helicopter to CentraCare in St Cloud, where a large clot was found in one of the major arteries. “He was initially showing very serious signs of brain injury and heart injury,” said Dr. Daniel James Ted.
After placing the prop, Tiede used a fairly new piece of technology called the Impella Pump to stabilize Szajner. It’s thinner than a pencil and takes on the job of pumping blood so the heart can rest. Within a few days, Szajner took a turn for the better.
“Without the pump, I don’t know if Dr. Zagner would survive,” Ted said. “It’s almost a miracle.”
On Thursday morning, Szagner got a chance to thank everyone who helped save his life. He’s here because of a fellow doctor, heart pump, and care professional. “I’m really happy for him and I’m glad he’s doing a really good job,” Hofstad said.
“When this happened we definitely became better friends,” Zagner said. “God is great and gracious and has blessed my family for me. I feel that every day is a gift. It is his gift.”
Szajner is an anesthesiologist and is back at work. He has been a passionate rock climber in the past and plans to return to this activity in the near future.
He also wanted to thank the teams Alomere and CentraCare who helped him.