Football Fan's Heart Attack Doesn't Keep Him From Watching Big Game

University of Michigan footballHere's a lovely story about two sports fans that doesn't involve a fight, simulated sex in the stands, a man getting clocked with a ball, or a tacky wedding proposal on the JumboTron for a change. Nope this is a story that will restore your faith in the human race again, because it's just a nice, feel-good story all around involving two die-hard football rivals, a riveting game, a very scary incident, and a somewhat ironic ending.

Let's see if you can guess what it is as the story unfolds. Intrigued yet?


Leo Staudacher, 69, is a die-hard Notre Dame fan who was watching his team play the University of Michigan last week when his heart quit on him. Everyone was joking about the fans having a heart attack during this down to the wire contest, but it wasn't a joke for Staudacher. He really had one! He slumped right over the shoulder of Dr. Marvin Sonne in the seat in front of him, who -- you guessed it -- was a heart doctor, right?

Now that would be just a little too perfect, wouldn't it? Nope, he was a dentist. But close enough because Sonne being a medical guy knew CPR and got to work. But you'll never guess where he went to medical school .... Notre Dame, you think?

Nope, University of Michigan. What are the chances? Stone knew that most people who suffer heart attacks and have no pulse or breathing have a very poor chance of recovery unless CPR or defibrillation is given in the first couple of minutes after the event.

Some other medical people helped call in a medical team, who administered defibrillation and transported the man to ... where else? The University of Michigan Health System. But that's not the ironic part yet.

After Staudacher's immediate treatment at the hospital, he got to watch the final quarter of the game. That's how quick it was. And can you guess which team won in the end? A feel-good sports story like this is just beggin' for Notre Dame to pull out the win at the end, to do it for Staudacher, don't you think? But not this story, with all its contradictions. Nope, they lost 35-31 against Michigan. And the doctors even gave Staudacher a Michigan hat to wear. And Staudacher couldn't have been happier to be sitting there, celebrating his own win and thanking the up above for the best seat in the house.


Image via jeffwilcox/Flickr

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