The Gorders at the Twins Game

Litchfield residents Chris and David Gorder attended a Twins game April 11. Chris Gorder, a retired registered nurse, wound up assisting in saving a man’s life.

When Max Kepler of the Minnesota Twins hit a home-run April 11, winning the game against the Houston Astros at Target Field in Minneapolis, spirits were high for those who attended.

Among those attendees was long-time fan Chris Gorder, a Litchfield resident and retired nurse of 35 years. She attended the game with her husband, David. The couple has attended Twins Games every season to support the team. This year, however, they experienced something new for the first time as they left the stadium.

Gorder assisted in saving a life.

“That was the first time I used CPR outside of a healthcare setting,” she said. “That was kind of interesting.”

The Gorders were walking to their vehicle after the game, in a ramp just a few blocks away from Target Field, when they noticed a man on the ground and a woman working on chest compressions. The man had no pulse nor respiration, and Gorder took over his airway as the woman continued chest compressions.

According to Gorder, security guards to the parking ramp had already called 911 when she joined in assisting the woman, who turned out to be a registered nurse as well. A firefighter, who had also attended the game, took over chest compressions for the woman once she started getting tired. Together, they were able to get the gentleman breathing again before the paramedics arrived.

The entire ordeal, Gorder guessed, lasted less than 10 minutes but felt a lot longer.

“It always seems longer than it actually is,” Gorder said.

The man whose life was saved remains unknown; they never got his name or found out what happened once the ambulance left the scene.

“It was a happy ending for us but we don’t know how it ended for that gentleman,” Gorder said.

That happy ending for them came from their knowledge and confidence in using CPR.

SAVE A LIFE, LEARN CPR

Gorder cannot stress enough how important it is to learn CPR.

“In this instance it was a stranger, but it could be your child, your spouse ... It would be a shame if you didn’t know it.”

CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is a basic technique in emergency first aid. Between chest compressions and artificial ventilation to allow air flow to the lungs when the heart has stopped beating, CPR keeps the blood flowing and increases chances of survival in an emergency situation.

Gorder’s extensive history as a nurse has had her assisting in CPR several times. Her duties as a nurse had her working anywhere from “pediatrics to geriatrics,” she said, adding that CPR is crucial and anyone can learn how to perform it.

Whether it is conventional CPR — using both chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth — or the hands-only method — forgoing mouth-to-mouth — CPR skills can be attained from a young age.

“CPR is not hard to learn,” Gorder said. “It could save a life.”

Molly O'Connor is a reporter who earned her B.A. from Winona State University.

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