With tears in his eyes and a catch in his throat, Tim Benetti on Wednesday thanked the city of Woodbury for its response after his 8-year-old son passed out at church on Sunday, Feb. 24.
“Your guys were so calm, cool and collected,” he told the Woodbury City Council, relaying the story of how young Evan was transported to Children’s Hospital in St. Paul following the episode at St. Ambrose Church.
By the time Evan reached the hospital, he was fine, Benetti said.
He said the doors of the ambulance opened and his son told him: “‘Dad, they pricked my finger and I didn’t even cry.’”
Benetti in particular thanked officer Fran Schmitz, who is cross-trained as a paramedic, for his quick response and calm demeanor.
“It was very scary,” Benetti said.
Within three minutes of Evan’s fainting, crews were on the scene, he said, responding in “top-notch” fashion.
Evan has never had a similar episode, Benetti said, but it reminded him of a coworker’s seizure he witnessed. His son was playing hockey the day before and may have been dehydrated, he said.
Benetti, who works in the planning department in Brooklyn Center, said cities often hear complaints at council meetings, and he wanted to say thank you. (His wife was going to bake cookies for the Public Safety Department or send a card.)
“It makes me proud to be a citizen of this community,” Benetti said.
Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens said the city does receive notes of thanks following these types of incidents, but not often at council meetings. She said Benetti’s story reminded her of a similar incident involving her daughter, Jane, when she was a teenager.
“Immediately, I could relate to him,” Stephens said.
The mayor said it was nice to hear that the boy was OK.
“It’s not just a number on a report,” Stephens said. “It’s real life to the people who live here.”