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Local Woman's Life Saved by CPR in D.C.

APPLETON, Wis. - Just last week a local high school band was in Washington D.C. to play at the Independence Day parade.

But amidst all the fun, one family experienced a moment they thought would never happen.

But thanks to quick-thinking, one critical life saving operation brought one grandmother not only back to Appleton but back to life.

Linda Leith now sits in her Appleton home with her daughter Michelle Medvecz at her side and her grand daughter Shannon across the room.

A fun trip to support Shannon and the Hortonville High School band in D.C. turned into a six minute nightmare.

"All I know is I woke up in an ambulance and the ambulance personnel were asking me who I was," says Leith. "I didn’t know why they were asking me because I didn’t know that I was even in an ambulance."

Linda's heart had stopped and she collapsed while walking through Arlington cemetery.

Michelle ran to her mother's side and called on a fellow parent for help.

"Very quickly we assessed that she had a pulse, but she had agonal breathing, which means her breathing wasn’t quite right and then we very quickly lost her pulse," says Tom Veeser.

Tom and Michelle, who are both nurses, began CPR.

For six minutes Tom performed compressions and Michelle gave rescue breaths.

"I thought I’d lost her," says Michelle.  "i thought she was gone. "I’ve seen people go in the ER and ICUs and I didn’t think she was going to come home with me. So the fact that she sitting here next to me today is a miracle."

fortunately Linda responded halfway to the hospital.

She says it's no mistake that she was able to take that reviving breath.

"There must’ve been some sort of guardian angel floating over my head because my daughter is a nurse practitioner and another nurse who was there was appropriately trained," says Linda. "According to all the doctors from the hospital in Virginia that I just left, a pretty major miracle in their minds."

This trip may be memorable for reasons the family did not foresee.

But they brought back the ultimate souvenir: their mom and grandmother.

"I have Tom to thank. I can never repay him for the help that he gave me that day."

Tom says since there was no available  AED or automated external defibrillator on Arlington's grounds, he has contacted them to stress the importance of having those devices available.

He is still awaiting a response.

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