Updated: 03/19/2013 1:54 PM KSTP.com By: Katherine Johnson
When you work as a paramedic for decades, like Wayne Schneider, you're bound to have some good stories. But the call of Schneider's career isn't about "Wayne the Paramedic." Wayne Schneider was the patient.
"I walked past my partner, went and sat in the front seat of the ambulance, closed the door and that's where they found me," he said. "That is the last thing I remember."
It didn't take long for paramedic Greg Booth to figure out his partner of more than 20 years was in cardiac arrest. For 68 long minutes, Wayne didn't have a pulse.
"By the definition, yes. He was dead at that time. For 68 minutes," said paramedic Jordan Wardell.
Wardell, Booth and another Hennepin County Paramedic worked tirelessly until, finally, a steady heartbeat.
"If he would have been at home, walking into the grocery store, it wouldn't have had a good outcome," said Booth.
"There would be nobody else I would choose to take care of me," said Schneider.
Schneider's life is now filled with visits from his grandchildren, time with his wife and struggling to follow orders at physical therapy appointments. After all, in his heart, Wayne's not a patient. He's a paramedic.
Those who survive a cardiac arrest usually suffer severe neurological trauma and are never the same. Schneider hopes to one day to return to the job.