You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Sep 15, 2011 : 10:23 a.m.

Fans' quick action helps save heart attack victim at Michigan-Notre Dame game

By Juliana Keeping

His team lost, but a Notre Dame fan who suffered a heart attack while watching the Wolverines beat the Fighting Irish in Michigan Stadium got the biggest win of his life on Saturday.

Leo Staudacher, 69, of Bay City, was cheering for Notre Dame Sept. 10 when he felt sharp pain in his shoulder during the second quarter. The retired investor thought he had heartburn or indigestion. But his heart stopped beating; he sat down and passed out.

Luckily for Staudacher, fans sitting near him knew CPR. A dentist from Trenton began chest compressions. Others called over medical personnel stationed at the game, who took Staudacher to the University of Michigan Health System for treatment.

"My family watched while they shocked me with the paddles," Staudacher said in a UMHS news release. "But it was the fans and their prompt CPR that saved my life."

Staudacher in town with his sons ages, 45, 48 and 50 to watch the game attended by 114,000 fans.

After receiving treatment for a heart attack, he was able to watch the last two touchdowns from the intensive care unit.

U-M won the game 35 to 31 in the final 2 seconds. After the harrowing health experience — and game — he said he might reconsider cheering against the Wolverines.

"It was great to witness an amazing match-up between two old rivals — at least for the first quarter and half anyway," he said.

Juliana Keeping covers general assignment and health and the environment for Reach her at or 734-623-2528. Follow Juliana Keeping on Twitter



Mon, Sep 19, 2011 : 5:10 p.m.

Just goes to show you that we are Americans first and help each other out in times of need and it doesn't matter what team you may be cheering for. Glad to hear that you're doing well, Leo. Hats off to the heroes that stepped in right away and did what was needed to save a life!!


Sat, Sep 17, 2011 : 1:53 p.m.

Glad you made it Leo! Great job by the people who helped! Go Blue!

Lets Get Real

Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 6:25 p.m.

Let's Get Real about this article. Here was the ideal opportunity to highlight the lifesaving importance of knowing this simple - to - learn skill, and interview someone from the American Red Cross or the National Safety Council about how folks can enroll in a class or bring an educational opportunity to their place of business to learn citizen responder CPR. The focus here should have been on saving a life with your head, your heart and your hands. About the selfless act of a bystander that kept this family together to enjoy another UM vs Notre Dame Game together again in the future. To miss important opportunity to educate the public, celebrate the rescuers' team effort in the chain of survival, and provide valuable resource information to readers to encourage them to take training too is ashame. For those who would have liked that information - Resources for classes: National Safety Council Affiliate - Echo Health & Safety Education 734 417 5745, Washtenas County American Red Cross 734 971 5300,


Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 12:56 a.m.

surprised they let him watch the end of the game. Thats was a crazy ending. Go Blue. Glad the man is OK.

Lauren McLeod

Thu, Sep 15, 2011 : 8:29 p.m.

The man who helped Leo commented on the ESPN article, saying: "Marvin Sonne ยท Detroit, Michigan Wow.........Amazing that this story has made the "headlines." I'm the guy who performed CPR prior to the emergency team arriving with the defibrillator. Yes, the gentleman was a ND fan. Actually he was bad-mouthing Michigan (to his son) the entire game up to that point but when he fell over on my son & me, I just did what I've been trained to do to save another human being's life. And that's what we should remember. I am soooo happy that he survived. CPR does work. If you're not trained, please make it a point to get trained. Another's life is in your HANDS!" Great to see him encouraging others to become trained in CPR. Go Blue!


Thu, Sep 15, 2011 : 8:25 p.m.

Wow. What a group of commentators A2 has. I'm not and should be preparded to help my fellow citizens. Hat's off to the people who helped and best wishes for a good reecovery.


Thu, Sep 15, 2011 : 7:56 p.m.

So glad Mr. Staudacher is doing well, and a willing fan was there to help initiate CPR. I guess there was a hint of "Touchdown Jesus" even at The Big House Saturday night!


Thu, Sep 15, 2011 : 5:25 p.m.

Look at it this way, Mr Staudacher, the Lord prefers you over another miraculous ND football win!


Thu, Sep 15, 2011 : 4:29 p.m.

"Diehard Notre Dame fan"...??? did you actually write that while describing an heart attack victim? Really?


Thu, Sep 15, 2011 : 4:33 p.m.

I didn't notice that one! Well played.


Thu, Sep 15, 2011 : 3:03 p.m.

Thats why I'm glad that my school has a big hospital instead of a big church. Go Blue!

Mr. Ed

Thu, Sep 15, 2011 : 2:56 p.m.

That game was a heart stopper. Glad to see he'll recover to watch more ND football. Go Blue.


Thu, Sep 15, 2011 : 2:35 p.m.

Fantastic job by the surrounding fans! I'm glad to see it all ended well so I will add some levity. I'm surprised they let him watch the end! Poor guy, hadn't he suffered enough?

Adolph Dooley

Thu, Sep 15, 2011 : 2:54 p.m.