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

By Daday, Eileen O. | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), July 11, 2011 | Go to article overview

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


Daday, Eileen O., Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


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. …

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