Northville Township Director of Public Safety John Werth, right, praised the heroic work of the team of first responders who saved Danielle Teper’s life. Fire Chief Richard Marinucci was also on hand during the award presentation. Photos by Don Howard
Jun. 3, 2015 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
Plymouth Michigan News
Danielle Teper has a lot to be thankful for.
Last Thursday evening, she got a chance to express her gratitude to the eight people who saved her life last December when she suffered extreme respiratory failure and flat-lined in her car.
Teper, 29, had just completed her shopping at the Kroger store on Haggerty Road in Northville, loaded her pack- ages and started her car when her heart suddenly stopped. Her abrupt loss of consciousness caused her car to go out of control and roll forward, striking a light pole in the parking lot. She was left, unconscious, slumped over her steering wheel as her heart simply gave out.
A fellow shopper, Kyle Martin, ran to her car when he saw it strike the pole and realized that she was in serious physical distress. Her car doors were locked and he couldn’t get to her, but he immediately called Northville Township 911 for help.
The public safety professionals who managed to save Teper’s life were introduced to the members of the Northville Township Board of Trustees last week by Public Safety Director John Werth, who congratulated each of them for their fast thinking and exemplary work during the crisis.
When the emergency call came in at 5:20 p.m., dispatchers Jennifer Allen and Jeanette Schrameck immediately sent township emergency personnel to the scene including a team of Advanced Life Support paramedics who arrived within minutes.
First to arrive on the scene in response to Martin’s 911 call, however, were police officers Christopher Cox and Douglas Scoggins. Cox, realizing the immediacy of the situation, broke out the vehicle glass to gain access to Teper for Firefighter Jason Hendrian who removed her from the car.
Hendrian reported back to the dispatch office that Teper was in full cardiac arrest with no pulse at his initial assessment. Firefighter Brent Muller immediately started what is known as intraosseous vascular access, a difficult procedure used for the administration of medication to patients in extreme respiratory failure.
At this point in time, Werth explained, Teper had only about two minutes to survive.
Muller placed a catheter needle just below her kneecap into the bone of her leg to allow life-saving medication to go directly to her heart. At the same time Firefighter A.J. Spolsky ventilated her lungs and started intubation with a balloon while Firefighter Will Caruso applied a defibrillator pad to her chest, administering electrical shock therapy. Firefighter Kyle Lewis and Firefighter Mike Mandziuk took turns performing chest compressions filling her lungs and keeping her blood flowing to her brain and other organs.
The life saving team worked with precision of an orchestra, Werth said, doing everything possible to induce Teper’s heart to start beating again.
Dispatchers working the phones from several miles away communicated with the medical team and located Teper’s sister and were able to pass on important and critical medical information to the paramedics working to save Teper’s life.
Teper’s parents, Art and Maureen Teper, were with her last Thursday as the men and women who saved her life received official recognition for their efforts from township officials, along with their gratitude. Maureen Teper said the minutes waiting for her daughter’s heart to start beating again must have seemed like an eternity to the men working to save her life in that parking lot.
Teper and her family were all smiles last week as Werth introduced and congratulated each of the professionals responsible for saving her life.
“I sincerely commend the public safety personnel involved in this incident who exhibited quick thinking, teamwork and professionalism of the highest quality,” said Werth.