Pat Hall remembers walking into Target Field a month ago on her first visit to the Twins' new ballpark. She remembers sitting in the front row of Section 103, almost close enough to touch the players. The last thing she remembers is going up the steps to use the restroom during the seventh-inning stretch.
Just as she reached the concourse, her legs went limp. She dropped her soda and fell, luckily, into the arms of usher Bob Micek.
Hall, 66, of Richfield, had suffered cardiac arrest. Immediately a swarm of volunteer paramedics, first responders and doctors rushed to her aid to administer CPR, shock her heart and get her to the hospital.
Hall and her husband, Bob, were at Hennepin County Medical Center on Wednesday to celebrate what's being called "the best save at the ballpark." They also got to meet and thank many of those who acted so quickly to keep her alive during the Twins-Cleveland game on April 21.
"I don't remember any of you, but I remember you in my prayers every day," she said during the news conference, held during National Emergency Medical Services week. Wearing a Twins shirt with a heart on it, she pointed to it and said, "I have this one here and I still have mine."
Doctors are unsure what caused her to collapse, but Dr. Jeff Ho, HCMC emergency physician who leads the ballpark volunteers, said the pre-hospital care from Target Field staff led to the "successful resuscitation of Mrs. Hall."
Hall gave her rescuers a small gift and said, "I don't think I know how to thank you for one's life."
Hall was a guest of her employer, the Cremation Society of Minnesota. She told her husband that she felt chilly and began climbing the 40 steps from the field to the concourse. At the top, she passed out, turned gray and fell into Micek's arms. He called for help and within a minute, first responder Rachel Gordon was on the scene. Gordon, who works as a heart nurse at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, began compression until paramedics arrived.
Target Guest Services found her husband, told him what had happened and escorted him to his wife.
The 325-member guest services staff, including the volunteer medical staff, attended classes and training before the season started to prepare for such incidents. This was the first medical emergency at Target Field unrelated to fans getting hit with foul balls.
"It was like an out-of-body experience. You don't want to believe what you are seeing," Bob Hall said. "They treated her with honor and dignity. They obviously practiced. They knew what they were doing."
Hall missed the end of the Twins' 6-0 victory, but she's getting another chance. Matt Hoy, the team's vice president of operations, gave her tickets to another game and told her she has to "see the whole game."
Hall said she wasn't a big fan of ballpark food, but she's eager to get back to watch the team she has rooted for most of her life, under one condition:
"I want to be sure all these people are working that night," she said.
Tim Harlow • 612-673-7768