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Man who collapsed outside Lambeau Field connects with life savers

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 4:19 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2021 at 6:18 PM CDT
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RIPON, Wis. (WBAY) - The Fond du Lac County man who collapsed at Lambeau Field ahead of last week’s Monday Night Football game was able to meet the people who helped to save his life.

Action 2 News first introduced you to Randy Sabel on Friday, when he was looking for the female doctor and nurse who gave him aid when he went into anaphylactic shock and collapsed. But, as Sabel found out, it was a team of people -- all with medical backgrounds who just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Former Bellin Hospital ICU nurses, Gail Butrymowicz and Sarah Spychalla, happened to run into each other outside of the South Gate at Lambeau Field last Monday night.

According to Spychalla, “I haven’t seen her (Gail) in years, so, said hi, we caught up as we walked together, and we were only walking for about three minutes and we came upon the scene.”

The two nurses, joined other good Samaritans to help a man, now identified as Randy Sabel, who was in distress.

“We got down on the ground and started to assess this man, and other people were around trying to help this man as well,” says Butrymowicz.

Two of those other people are brother and sister, Chad and Jodi Nelson. Chad is a nurse, Jodi a police officer. “I saw my sister holding his hand, saying ‘Randy, Randy, stay with us, stay with us.’ So, I went on his other side and feeling a pulse and all of a sudden he was purple and just agonal breathing. So, I’m like, okay I guess this is what’s happening so decided to start compressions,” adds Chad Nelson.

The team of four, plus a primary care doctor, Maureen Phillips, who was also heading to the game, continued to help Sabel until an ambulance arrived.

“I thought about him a lot. And I thought, who is this guy, where’s he from, does he have a family, is he married?” wondered Butrymowicz.

Through a Facebook post shared by Randy Sabel’s friend looking for those guardian angels -- and our story last Friday -- the pieces started to come together for everyone involved.

Sarah Spychalla says, “I was like, Oh my gosh, that’s where we were. That’s the situation. So then just reading the comments I was like, he’s okay, he survived, and he does have a family and he’s doing well.”

And a week after Sarah Spychalla and Gail Butrymowicz helped to save Randy Sabel’s life, the two paid him a surprise visit at work. Chad Nelson joined on Facetime.

The chance to not only identify but also to meet his Lambeau life savers is providing closure and peace of mind for Sabel. He says, “Now, especially, that we know who they are. We can properly thank them. You had five strangers, other than the brother/sister, that didn’t know each other at all, just happened to be in the same spot at the exact same time, all in the medical field that just jumped into action is unreal.”

And something all involved will never forget.

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