'His Timing Couldn't Have Been Better,' Bartlett Man Who Went into Cardiac Arrest at Parade Was Surrounded by Medical Personnel

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Byline: Eileen O. Daday Daily Herald correspondent

The last thing Ron Raidy remembers was shooting off a cannon.

The Bartlett man and his Civil War re-enactment group, Stanford's Battery, were nearing the end of the Hinsdale July Fourth parade. The Confederate artillery unitdraws a lot of interest wherever it goes, especially when they fire the bronze cannon perched on its carriage.

"We had pushed the cannon for more than a mile," Raidy said, "but I felt fine. I didn't feel anything coming on."

Instead of hearing the crowd's cheer, the 61-year-old collapsed in full cardiac arrest. On Thursday he was recovering from quadruple bypass surgery performed Wednesday at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital.

"It's like a miracle," Raidy said.

By all accounts, Raidy is one lucky man. Although he had no history of heart trouble and he was in good shape leading up to the parade -- from pushing a cannon for the last three years, he quips -- he nearly died in his boots.

"His timing couldn't have been better," said Kevin Baker, a firefighter and paramedic with the Hinsdale Fire Department. "The (Adventist Hinsdale) hospital float was right behind him, so there were a lot of medical personnel right there."

As even better luck would have it, a cardiologist who specializes in heart rhythms was watching the parade with his family, taking in the Confederate group.

"I noticed all the commotion when he went down," said Dr. …