His Life Was Saved At U-M Game, Now Notre Dame Fan Has A Wolverine Heart

ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – They’re calling it the biggest comeback in the history of the Big House, but it’s got nothing to do with what happened on the field.

During the second quarter of the 2011 U of M-Notre Dame game, 69 year-old Fighting Irish fan, Leo Staudacher, suffered a cardiac arrest.

“I just closed my eyes for a minute and then the next thing I knew I was laying on the seats,” Staudacher told WWJ Health Reporter Sean Lee.

By the fourth quarter, he was watching the end of the game from his hospital bed at U of M, thanks to the doctors, nurses and EMTs at the stadium and in the catheterization laboratory.

Now at age 71, Staudacher is 25 pounds lighter and walks thirteen miles a week!

When he re-tells the story of the what happened at the Big House he says…

“It’s the very best thing that ever happened to me,” he said.”I made the changes I should have made ten years ago.”

Cardiac care nurse, Colleen Brennan-Martinez says watching Staudecker make the most of his second chance is gratifying.

really can spend a lot of time with patients educating them about what they need to do to modify their risk,” she said. “So when they do it – it’s really a satisfying experience.”

Staudecker is so grateful for the second chance he got at the Big House, from now on he won’t root against the Wolverines.

“Notre Dame is in my DNA but U of M is in my heart,” he said.


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