SNOWY SAVE: Teen resuscitated at Afton Alps meets rescuers - KMSP-TV

SNOWY SAVE: Teen resuscitated at Afton Alps meets rescuers

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

His parents call it a holiday miracle, and the 17-year-old boy whose heart stopped at the bottom of a ski slope at Afton Alps got a chance to thank the people who helped him continue to enjoy the gift of life.

Danny Mannon is one of 9 children, and when he collapsed over the weekend, it was his sister's birthday. On Tuesday -- his brother's birthday, he met with the people who Mannon's mother says gave the best gift of all to their family.

Doctors at Regions Hospital tell Fox 9 News it's very rare for someone to survive cardiac arrest outside of a hospital, but in a way, Mannon was lucky his crisis struck in front of the chair lift where a bystander was able to recognize what was happening and sprang into action.

Mannon may be a bit shy, even embarrassed, but he's certainly not ungrateful and neither are his parents.

"I'm very grateful for Shane because if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be here right now," Mannon said. "I'm thankful for Joe for having the AED, because that really saved me."

The 17-year-old was snowboarding with two of his brothers and had just finished his first run when the unthinkable happened.

"I got to the bottom and then was waiting in the line to go on the ski lift again, and then I remember waking up in the ambulance a little bit," he recalled.

Fortunately, Shane Linehan -- a former deputy -- was skiing with his daughters and was standing nearby. He recognized Mannon's plight and went to work, performing CPR while the ski patrol quickly brought an automatic defibrillator, known as an AED, to restart the teen's heart.

"I pulled my pocket knife out and cut off what I think was an Abercrombie shirt, but I think I owe him a shirt," Linehan said with a laugh.

Doctors told Fox 9 News a series of coincidences put the right people and the right people at the right place and time, but Mannon's father calls it something else.

"I'm a pastor, so I'll say it's a miracle," Rev. Rick Mannon said.

It is true that doctors don't see many survivors like Mannon.

"The vast majority of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests don't make it," Dr. RJ Frascone said.

For the Mannon family, the rescue is the perfect story of people, faith and technology combining to save a young life. Mannon's cardiologist said he cannot find evidence of structural problems with the boy's heart, so to prevent a future electrical failure, they're going to implant an small pacemaker to ensure it doesn't happen again.

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