The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

January 2, 2014

Kirchner has eventful, thankful 2013

KEOSAUQUA — Dave Kirchner, 69, Keosauqua, had a lot to be thankful for in 2013.

• Friends who helped out in his hour of need.

• A successful surgery that gave him a new lease on life.

• And thankful that if he had to have a heart attack, outside of Soldier Field, Chicago, after a Bears game is not a bad place.

Kirchner, known as “Mr. Warrior” because of his dedication to Van Buren Warrior athletics and academics, is recovering after suffering a heart attack on Sept. 15 in Chicago after the Bears beat the Vikings in exciting fashion. He was attending the game with Dave Alvis, Van Buren school counselor.

Kirchner said he had been doctoring for a heart condition.

“Every time I would go get the school physical, they said I had a heart murmur. I wasn’t on any meds or anything, I was basically just monitoring the situation. A year ago, I got an official diagnosis, Aortic Valve Stenosis. The symptoms would be shortness of breath, chest pains or blacking out. I kinda thought I would have the shortness of breath or chest pains, but I blacked out.”

“I remember everything about it. It had been drizzling during the game, there were about 10 seconds left in the game and I had the rain gear on.”

He just happened to black out on one of the busiest streets in Chicago right after an NFL football game. Fortunately, within seconds, three medical professionals, including a cardiologist, were there to render him aid.

“The last thing I remember was thinking the sidewalk was slick. I went down and broke my glasses,” Kirchner said.

He was out for less than a minute, but it seemed longer to him.

Fortunately, he fell amongst a group of medical professionals.

“I woke up and there was a woman leaning down beside me, and she’s got her hand on my shoulder. I told her, ‘I think I will be OK’. She was an ER nurse. There was a group of maybe 100-150 people nearby walking back to their vehicles. There was also an EMT and a cardiologist, and they weren’t there for any particular professional duties. They just happened to be a group coming back from the game.”

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