Letter to the Editor: Thank you, Grinnell community

This past Saturday, September 4, my dad, Mike Mallberg was doing what he loved best: officiating football. This Saturday he was at Grinnell College, a school he’s visited many times, a place my family has enjoyed watching him “work” his second job.

This game ended early for my dad. Near the end of the first quarter, he collapsed on the field, unresponsive and pulseless.

The EMS team working the game responded immediately and a local physician joined them at they began resuscitative measures. The Grinnell team, coaching staff and athletic department stood by, assisting as needed. My father was revived after three minutes of CPR, and became alert and conversing. After being assessed and stabilized at the Grinnell hospital, he was transferred to Methodist Hospital in Des Moines by the same EMS team from the field.

After a scary first 24 hours in the ICU, my dad is doing well. He has stabilized and is awaiting his aortic valve replacement surgery Thursday.

I am writing on behalf of my family: my parents, my sister and our husbands and children, to thank the communities of Grinnell and Grinnell College.

Specifically, we would like to thank A.D. Greg Wallace, Coach Max Hawsey, their staff and team. Coach Wallace began calling my mom within minutes of the incident, and has continued to check on my dad during his hospitalization. Grinnell College has always been a class act in my father’s opinion.

The ER staff at Grinnell Hospital cared for my father and informed my mother of his status. We’re grateful to the nurse who broke the news to my mom of the situation and assured her of Dad’s condition.

Our deepest gratitude goes out to the EMS first responders: Mike and Vince, and to Dr Laura, who began resuscitative measures on my dad. Their clear, controlled work was critical to his survival. Additionally, Mike and Vince’s first-hand account to my mother in Des Moines, a nurse of nearly 40 years who needs medical details, was invaluable.

Lastly, my family and I cannot imagine the prayers and well wishes that must have emanated from the stands that afternoon.

To the entire community of Grinnell, we say thanks. The compassion of your community has overwhelmed my family. We know you must be immensely proud.

I live in Coralville and my parents live in Adel. Grinnell has always been our half-way mark. It is now the center of our thanks and appreciation.