IN THE EARLY MORNING hours of Wednesday, July 10, Corunna resident Jim Ruthenberg drove himself to Memorial Healthcare in Owosso after experiencing chest pains. Upon arriving at Memorial, Jim pulled into the main hospital entrance rather than the Emergency Department entrance.

   Upon seeing a car pull up to the front lobby door, Officer Gene Mangino walked out to the vehicle to inform them that they needed to enter the emergency department driveway.  At that time, Officer Mangino noticed an unresponsive male who was extremely pale and slumped over the steering wheel. After checking for a pulse, Officer Mangino found there was none and began lifesaving measures. During CPR, Officer Mangino was able to use his radio to call for assistance from emergency room doctors and staff, in addition to members from the Owosso Fire Department. It was through the due diligence by all rescuing members that Jim was able to make a full recovery from a major heart attack that fateful night.

   On Thursday, Sept. 26, Officer Mangino was reunited at Memorial Healthcare with a healthy Jim Ruthenberg to be presented with an American Heart Hero Award. The 60-year-old Ruthenberg was joined by his daughter, Sherri Ruthenberg, and his ex wife.

   Officer Mangino was praised by Memorial Healthcare President and CEO Brian Long, Director of Public Safety Jeff Hauk and Emergency Department doctor Christopher Clark, MD.

   “At approximately 3:40 a.m. on July 10, 2019, Officer Mangino put his best foot forward by being proactive,” explained Director of Public Safety Jeff Hauk. “He wasn’t looking to be a hero that night; he was looking to be of service, hopefully preventing the individual from being inconvenienced by having to re-park. He was situationally aware enough to notice the signs of someone in distress and he was prepared to remain calm, call for assistance and provide the immediate rescue response required. We are all proud to have officers like Geno Mangino on our team, so Geno, job well done. You are most deserving of recognition and this award.”

   Emergency Department doctor Christopher Clark, MD, added, “Jim had driven himself to the hospital; he doesn’t really remember it, but he was having a heart attack. He was able to put his car into park, and then his heart stopped working. Somehow, by some miracle, Geno was right there and he knew what to do, having previously worked with us as an ER tech. Jim had the kind of heart attack that kills people, and because Geno knew what to do and was there with Jim within one minute of parking his car, that’s the reason Jim is alive.”

(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon))

American Heart Hero Award was last modified: September 30th, 2019 by Karen Elford