Quick thinking thwarts a “widowmaker”

May 18th will be a day remembered by the Schillinger family for a long time. It was the day that Korey Schillinger, the police chief and a first responder in Stratford, Wisconsin, experienced a “Widowmaker” heart attack at age 51.

A “Widowmaker” is blockage in the left anterior descending artery of the heart that usually results in death. Widowmakers occur in both men and women.

Luckily, Schillinger’s wife was home with him and immediately called 9-1-1. With Ministry Spirit Medical Transportation’s helicopter en route to the Schillinger home, the dispatcher guided Schillinger’s wife as she performed CPR on her husband.

Minutes later, Schillinger’s squad car, driven by another first responder, arrived. The officer assisted Schillinger with the automated external defibrillator (AED) as they waited for the helicopter to arrive.

An AED is a portable device that delivers an electric shock to the heart, which can restore normal heart rhythm. The AED’s computer detects when a shock is needed and prompts the user to press the shock button.

Korey Schillinger
Schillinger was transported to Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield where he underwent surgery to implant stents and clear the blockage.

Thanks to the quick thinking of his wife, his emergency response team, and his expert cardiology and rehab team, Schillinger is feeling healthy again.

Schillinger encourages everyone who is willing and able to consider becoming a first-responder. For more information, contact your local EMT coordinator or your local fire department.

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