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Fort Hood soldiers, staff work together to save man's life

Posted at 5:18 PM, Mar 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-13 19:50:05-04

FORT HOOD, TX — Denise and Winn Lippoldt were visiting Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas, in February.

The trip was one they took to be able to spend time with their grandchildren, but it quickly took a turn for the worse.

When the couple was leaving the resort on Feb. 23, Winn had a heart attack.

“He touched my head and I looked over and his arms were flailing, and I was driving and still in the parking lot and I made a complete U-turn and went back through the circle, I ran inside, and I screamed for help," Denise said.

Three soldiers from Fort Hood answered that call.

1SG Jaime Rubio, SSG Martin Hernandez and Sgt. David Garza immediately started tending to Winn who, at the time was breathing, but that didn't last long.

"He had stopped breathing and had turned blue so right away I started compressions and SGT. Hernandez did the head tilt, chin lift and made sure his airway was good," Sgt. Garza said.

Great Wolf Lodge team members also helped during the incident, administering CPR and using an AED device.

Doctors from the Baylor Scott and White Heart and Vascular System said the quick action from the soldiers and the staff at Great Wolf Lodge may have saved his life.

"It was a true miracle that he survived because they told me it was a widow maker heart attack," Denise said. "All the doctors at the heart hospital said if he didn't have such quick care he probably would have died."

"If it wouldn't have been for [them,] that could have been the last memory of me they would have ever had," Winn said.

Now, Winn who is a U.S. Army veteran is on the road to recovery thanks to his brothers in green.

"These are the type of men we need in this nation, that have honor and are willing to serve anyone around them and put everyone else's needs before their own," Winn said.

Winn received emergency open heart surgery when he got to the hospital and will be recovering at his home in Oklahoma City for the next six months.

A GoFundMe Page has been set up to help the Lippoldt family with medical expenses.