Boy saves heart attack victim

Published 10:10 am Tuesday, June 15, 2010

An Albert Lea resident is crediting his 12-year-old neighbor’s quick thinking with saving his life.

After not feeling well and not having an appetite for days, Buzz Knudsen set out to mow his law on Mother’s Day weekend.

“I was having trouble with depth perception and balance. It (mowing the lawn) was against my better judgment, but I figured if I left it, somebody would think we’d abandoned the place,” Knudsen said.

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When he was finished, he got off the riding mower, but slipped under the mower deck.

“I finally got my foot loose, but I couldn’t get up,” Knudsen recalled.

Finally, he said, he got a hold of the frame of the tractor, but still couldn’t get up. “So I started to holler for help,” he said.

After 10 minutes, he realized he wasn’t getting anyone’s attention. So he reached around the corner into his tack room where he knew there was a small shovel.

“And I started to shout against it,” he said.

Meanwhile, across the road, Forrest Seuser had gone outside to play with his dog. He was playing close to the road.

“The third time I called, he (Forrest) heard something,” Knudsen recalled.

Forrest said he heard a “yelp for help,” and ran inside to get his parents, Andy and Cherie Seuser.

“It kind of scared me,” Forrest said. “Then it heard it again and I took off running.”

On the way to check things out, Cherie Seuser said she sent her youngest son to Knudsen’s house to get his wife, Harriet, while she, Andy and their other son, Alex, went to check things out.

Andy Seuser got his neighbor to his feet again, and eventually, he got back to his house.

The next day, Harriet Knudsen took her husband to Albert Lea Medical Center, where they learned he had suffered his seventh heart attack.

“I was not too far from being dead,” Knudsen said.

He spent 16 days at ALMC, where he was started on a regimen of therapy, and doctors there found an aneurysm in his abdomen. But before he can have surgery to correct it, the swelling in his ankle needs to go down and an infection brought under control, he said. He then spent 14 days in the rehabilitation unit at Good Samaritan Society of Albert Lea. Now he’s back at ALMC, after spending just two days at home.

It’s given him time to think about what’s happened.

“I don’t know if Forrest fully realized he saved my life yet,” Knudsen said.

Forrest said he doesn’t believe he did anything out of the ordinary. “My brother was outside too, and we would have heard Buzz if I hadn’t,” he said.

That may be, but his parents are proud of him nevertheless, Cherie said.

“You did exactly what you were supposed to do,” she said to her son.