Before the typical business got underway during Tuesday's Granite Falls City Council meeting, a special appreciation ceremony was held for those who contributed to the life saving efforts necessitated by the Sudden Cardiac Arrest of Tom McGarthwaite on July 14.
Tom and Cheryl McGarthwaite were present with representatives of the Granite Falls police, ambulance and nursing outfits, each of whom received certificates of appreciation from Susie Osaki Holm, MPH, the Program Manager of "Take Heart St. Cloud." Take Heart is a Sudden Cardiac Arrest survival initiative that employs training and other methods to help increase the survival rate of those subjected to Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
According to Holm, for every minute that a victim goes without being shocked by a defibrillator, the percentage of likelihood that you live drops 10 percent. And that Tom has maintained so much of his former function is a testament to the speed in which the call was addressed at every step.
In recognition of the effort Holm also donated an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) to be used by the fire department, seeing how the police department already have two.
Tom's amazing story was told in full in the November 29 issue of the A/T. As a brief overview, Tom and Cheryl had just returned from the cities when Tom sat down to check his email and suddenly under went cardiac arrest and stopped breathing.
Granite Falls Police were the first to arrive and began administering shocks to Tom's chest with an AED. The ambulance showed up on the heels of the police and were soon making arrangements to have Tom airlifted to St. Cloud Hospital's cardiac unit.
After several days, the McGarthwaite family would take Tom off life support after doctors told them that he was not likely to live and at the very least would be a vegetable for the rest of his life. But after nine days of unconsciousness he surprised everyone and came to. Today, he looks to be well on his way to a near full recovery.
Since the ordeal Tom has also become a popular speaker with the Sudden Cardiac Arrest support groups and forums where he has been joined by St. Cloud Electrophysiologist Dr. Keith Lurie in campaigning for medical practitioners to allot more time for patients who have undergone hypothermia to wake up before taking them off life support.
In other news:
Council members approved:
•A proposal by Summit Envirosolutions, Inc., of St, Paul, to perform archaeological work associated with the relocation of the sanitary lift station at a cost of $4,795.
•The renewal of the city's airport Hangar Lease Agreements at a per-square-foot lease amount of $.12, which is $.02 higher than the previous per-square-foot lease amount.
•A call for proposals for a major upgrade to the city's accounting software, which has not been upgraded for over 15 years.
Page 2 of 2 - •A recommendation by the EDA to adjust the interest rate on a loan to dentist Karl Erickson from five percent to three percent in order to reflect current market conditions.
-$1,000 to The Living at Home Block Nurse Program.
-$1,250, on top of $2,500 from the EDA, to the tourism outfit, Western Minnesota Prairie Waters.
-$1,250, on top of $1,250 from the EDA, to the Southwest Initiative Foundation
-$1,000 from the city's light fund to be divided into four $250 scholarships for the Dollars to Scholars Program.