Amherst man receives national honors for saving his wife’s life
Sandy Hintz says she suffered from a broken heart
FOR THE GAZETTE
STEVENS POINT — Dale Hintz helped save his wife’s life by using the cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training he received from the American Red Cross. For his heroic and lifesaving actions, Hintz was presented with the American Red Cross Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action, during an award ceremony June 1 at the Red Cross Blood Donation Center, 3201C Main St., in Stevens Point.
On Oct. 3, 2022, while at home, Hintz found his wife Sandy unconscious and unresponsive and quickly assessed the situation. That is when his instincts and quick thinking set in. He immediately called 911 and began performing CPR until emergency personnel arrived.
“She was up loading the dishwasher,” Dale Hintz told the Gazette. “I was doing something downstairs, and that’s when I heard her fall. I didn’t know she fell at the time,” he added. “I thought maybe she dropped something, and I called out her name and she didn’t respond, so then I came upstairs and saw her laying on the floor. Tried to get her to respond to me. Unresponsive. She wasn’t breathing. Checked for a pulse real quick. Didn’t find anything there, and that’s when I called the operator,” Hintz continued. “Other than that, it was a normal morning, other than the fact that, fortunately, I had class that morning and I was home an hour later than I normally leave,” he said. “So, if I would’ve been going to work that day at my normal time I wouldn’t have been home.”
The Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) were able to resuscitate and stabilize Hintz’s wife by using an AED, or automated external defibrillator. The EMTs then transferred Sandy into the care of the local hospital. She is now continuing her journey down the road to recovery, from what she calls “a broken heart.”
“This kind of started when my twin sister passed away in 2016,” Sandy, 53, told the Gazette. Then our house fire (2019). Then my brother passed away July 23 (2022). My dad passed away August 8,” Sandy explained.
“The doctors and first responders agreed that had it not been for the quick actions of my brother-in-law, my sister likely would not have survived and would not have made such a miraculous recovery,” said Sharon Cisewski, Hintz’s sister-in-law. “I am happy to say that after less than four months after her cardiac emergency she has been able to resume a very normal life.” Cisewski nominated Hintz for the award.
“I was in the hospital for 26 days at Wausau,” Sandy Hintz added. “I’ve gone through occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy. Tried to return back to work, but my brain just can’t think fast enough,” she said. “I work for Marshfield Medical Center in Internal Medicine answering the phones. So now I’m working on speech pathology.”
Dale Hintz received First Aid and CPR training during his time in the Navy, as a Boy Scout Leader and through his current employer.“When it was time to actually perform CPR, I’m glad that my training turned into quick action to help save the life of my wife.” He encourages everyone to have lifesaving skills. “You never know when an emergency is going to happen, so having these skills can make the difference of turning a situation into a happy ending,” said Hintz.
“The Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action is given to individuals, like Hintz, who stepped up in an emergency situation and helped save or sustain a life,” said Kathryn Halvorsen, Executive Director, Northcentral Wisconsin Chapter of the Red Cross. “He exemplifies the Red Cross mission by preventing and alleviating human suffering in the face of emergencies and we commend him for saving his wife’s life.”
Both Cisewski and Hintz are very familiar with the work of the Red Cross. Cisewski is a frequent Red Cross blood donor and Hintz has seen the Red Cross in action when his family experienced a home fire. “The Red Cross means a lot to me. They are always stepping up in communities helping those in need,” said Hintz.
Medical emergencies can be scary and often require immediate care. The best way to manage any emergency is to be prepared ahead of time. Red Cross training gives people the knowledge and skills they need know in order to act quickly in an emergency and save a life. A variety of online, blended (online and in-person skills session) and classroom courses are available. You can be trained in CPR, First Aid, lifeguarding and other life-saving skills. Sign up at https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class for virtual and in-person lessons from the American Red Cross.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit them on Twitter at @RedCross.