Minnesota Stories

Ryan Johnson, Lester Prairie

(Nominated by Norm Okerstrom)
February 26, 2011

On June 16, 2009 our 16-year-old son, Teddy Okerstrom, collapsed and went into Sudden Cardiac Arrest while running sprints during a summer conditioning program. If it weren’t for the quick thinking life-saving actions of five individuals (Matt Lombardi, Tracy Byrd, Dee Schrader, fellow teammate AJ Troup, and Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Ryan Johnson) and the use of an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) by Mr. Johnson, our son would not be alive today. After Teddy was released Ryan explained to me that soon after 9/11 he was compelled to join the Buffalo, MN Volunteer Fire Department and become a first responder. His life got busier with two children, a full time job and coaching football and he had to give up his volunteering. Little did he know that this training would someday save the life of our son. Good things come out of bad situations. While recently in Florida with the 9/11 Flag, NYFD fireman and 9/11 survivor, Frank Ocello, took time to visit our son to share his story and to provide encouragement to Teddy to never give up and to go out and live this new chance at life. Thanks for what you are doing!