A Canadian man who had just helped a motorist change a tire in western Wisconsin had his good deed quickly repaid when, just minutes later, that same motorist helped to save his life.
According to the Wisconsin State Patrol, Victor Giesbrecht, of Winnipeg, was driving Saturday evening on Interstate 94 about 9 miles east of Menomonie when he stopped to help another motorist change a tire.
Patrol Sgt. Michael Newton said that after driving off, Giesbrecht was stricken by a heart attack within a mile or two. His wife, Ann, helped bring their pickup truck to a stop, called 911 and waved her arms for help.
At about the same time, the motorists they had just helped pulled up.
One of them, Lisa Meier, of Eau Claire, performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on him until emergency personnel arrived.
A state trooper and two Dunn County deputies took over and used an automated external defibrillator to help Giesbrecht regain a pulse and resume breathing.
A medical helicopter took Giesbrecht to Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. He was in serious condition Monday.
Newton said if Giesbrecht hadn't helped with the tire change, his initial rescuer may have remained stranded for too long to play a life-saving role.
"If he had been a few more miles down the road and had his heart attack, it could have been a different outcome," Newton said. "It's an interesting turn of fate."
He said Giesbrecht had suffered another heart attack about a year earlier.
Newton added that Dunn County having an AED on hand "was the tipping point" in saving Giesbrecht's life.
"Without that defibrillator, I don't know that the outcome would've been the same," he said.