- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 8, 2011

MILWAUKEE — When a good Samaritan stopped along a Wisconsin highway to help Sara Berg and her cousin change a blown tire, he remarked that “someone up above” must have brought them together, and she replied “thank God for you.”

Minutes later, less than a quarter mile down the road, Miss Berg and her cousin, Lisa Meier, were able to repay this stranger’s kindness, saving his life by performing CPR on him after he went into cardiac arrest.

“I 100 percent believe God had a huge hand in it and that God did put me and Lisa and all those people in the right place at the right time,” Miss Berg, a nurse’s assistant, said by phone from the Eau Claire area Tuesday. “I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful I could be there as quickly as I could to help him.”

Victor and Ann Giesbrecht, a Canadian couple from Winnipeg, pulled over Saturday evening to help Miss Berg and Miss Meier change a flat on a highway near Menomonie, in western Wisconsin.

Ann Giesbrecht said her husband “always wants to stop” and help stranded motorists. “He’s the type of person who gives you 100 percent and worries about himself later,” she said in a statement Monday.

Nearly immediately after driving off, Mr. Giesbrecht went into cardiac arrest and his wife helped bring their pickup truck to a stop.

Miss Berg said she and Miss Meier followed behind them a few minutes later, talking about how thankful they were that the couple stopped, when they saw their truck along the side of the road. Miss Berg said she saw Ann waving her hands and Miss Meier and Miss Berg ran over and started performing CPR on Mr. Giesbrecht until emergency personnel arrived.

A state trooper and two Dunn County deputies took over and used an automated external defibrillator to help Mr. Giesbrecht regain a pulse and resume breathing.

Mr. Giesbrecht remained hospitalized Tuesday in serious but stable condition.

Miss Berg said she and her cousin have struggled with feeling guilty that the help Mr. Giesbrecht gave them may have helped cause him to go into cardiac arrest. She said she spoke with his wife on Sunday and she told her just the opposite: She saved his life.

“We’ll forever be in their debt,” Mrs. Giesbrecht said in her statement, which was issued through the hospital.

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