A story of the heart: Local woman meets the officer who saved her life

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(WEAU)—According to the CDC, one in every four Americans will die of a heart attack. And that would have been the case for a Stanley woman if it wasn't for the quick response of a Chippewa Falls Police Officer.

“If he wouldn't have gotten there as fast as he did, I wouldn't have been here for everything that’s happened in the last 3 years,” said Anna Lingen.

Lingen has been waiting for this moment.

"It's awesome, I wish it would have happened sooner," said Lingen.

For the first time, Lingen is meeting the man who saved her life, Chippewa Falls Police Officer Tom Wahl.

"February 19th at 3:30 in the afternoon, I was going through the roundabout coming out of Chippewa," said Lingen.

"We got the call about a vehicle crash and the report of a driver unconscious," said Officer Wahl.

Lingen says she doesn't remember much from that day but doctors told her she had gone into stress induced cardiac arrest.

"My heart sped up to 200 beats per minute and then my heart just shut down," said Lingen.

That's when Officer Wahl and his partner found her.

"The car was still in drive so it was locked. I broke the window and unlocked the doors and my partner got her out of the vehicle and we immediately started CPR," said Wahl.

"They (doctors) said if the CPR hadn't been started as fast as it had. I never would have made it to the hospital. They still don't understand how I made it but I was probably seconds away from not being able to come back,” said Lingen.

For Lingen and Officer Wahl, the events of that day have left an impact.

"(speaking to Officer Wahl) Just have a big thank you, I have twin grandsons that are two I never would have seen," said Lingen.

"There are so many things we do in the course of duty to be able to see a great outcome like this it is encouraging," said Wahl

Wahl says CPR can often mean the difference between life and death.
He says just doing chest compressions can keep the blood and oxygen flowing through the body until paramedics get there.

To learn more about CPR, WEAU is teaming up with Sacred Heart Hospital for "community CPR day" on Saturday February 23rd
It's your chance to learn how to do hands only CPR
This free event has three different sessions to choose from.
For more information check click here: