Heart attack victim wants to thank good Samaritans who saved his life

EUREKA, Mo. - Kircher Park in Eureka is where Dennis Hirsch died, and was brought back to life.

"I don't remember anything about that day," Hirsch said, "or anything about the day before. I've lost those two days in time."

Hirsch's wife Debbie remembers. On the evening of July 15, while they walked in the park, Dennis Hirsch suffered a heart attack and fell to the ground.

"He actually died there," said Debbie Hirsch. "It was seven minutes between the phone call and when the paramedics got there, but there was at least a minute or two before they could even make the phone call, so he was gone for a long time. It had to be the CPR that saved his life."

Debbie Hirsch credits several good Samaritans with coming to the rescue of her husband. Several Frisbee players assisted, followed by an anonymous Boy Scout leader.

"One of the Frisbee guys called 911, the other one started doing the CPR," said Debbie Hirsch. The Boy Scout leader came up and said he was certified in CPR, so he started working on my husband. He saved my husband's life. He wouldn't be here if it wasn't for those people who were there at the park. I think it was just a miracle those people were there."

The Hirschs want to say "thank you" in person, but they don't know the identity of the people who saved Dennis' life.

"We're just trying to find out who these people are because they're the ones who saved his life," said Debbie Hirsch.

As Dennis Hirsch recovers from heart surgery at SSM St. Clare Health Center, he's grateful to be alive, but he can't help but wonder why misfortune has zeroed in on his family.

"The last couple of years have been difficult for us."

Difficult is an understatement.

On Christmas Eve morning 2012, armed gunman Derrick Stewart of High Ridge broke into the Hirsch's home, where he struck Dennis Hirsch in the face, and tied him up. Stewart took $15,000 in jewelry and $1,000 in cash, then demanded that Debbie Hirsch take him to Hirsh Brothers Jewelry, the store owned by the couple in High Ridge. Stewart threatened to kill both if Debbie didn't comply. Police used spike strips to disable Stewart's car and arrested him. After terrorizing the Hirschs, Stewart pleaded guilty to multiple charges including kidnapping, robbery, and armed criminal action.

"There's too many people doing bad things, and you don't hear enough of the good," said Dennis Hirsch, wiping away tears.

Which may explain why it's so important for the Hirschs to say thank you, in person, to the total strangers who stepped up to help when they needed them the most. If you know who helped Dennis Hirsch survive his heart attack July 15 at Kircher Park, contact Nick Roth at SSM St. Clare Health Center 636-496-2523.


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