Katie Gudenkauf says it started as she was talking with a friend at an indoor soccer tournament on the Clarke University campus in Dubuque. “We were just about to leave when someone yelled up from the court down below that someone had collapsed. So myself and Becky Noethe went down — she’s a nurse as well,” she says.
Jake Tebbe was the player who went down during the game. “Jake was kind of on the sideline and his teammates were around him and they didn’t really know what had happened to him,” Gudenkauf says. “So we kind of looked him over and were looking for a pulse — and neither of us found one — and his teammates started CPR.”
She says she asked someone to go get the automatic external defibrillator or AED, and her other friend Ally quickly found it. She used it to shock Jake’s heart two times.
“He had a pulse before he left the gym and is doing well now. It’s just wonderful how a good team responds like that. Several people who had medical experience were able to help Jake — just everyone working together,” Gudenkauf says.
The Red Cross takes nominations to honor two people at what’s become called the Hy-Vee Heroes Game. Katie’s two friends put together a video to nominate her for the award.
“And I was so surprised that they called me back and I said that this has been chosen,” she says. “I actually hadn’t even heard about this, so I went back in and looked at all the Iowa hero videos. And it’s so cool that they do such a thing to show the good that’s going on.”
Gudenkauf is hesitant to call herself a hero because she says it was a group of people with medical training that were able to come together when someone needed them.
“It’s hard to say that because I feel like in any situation I would never not help. I am just so glad that Jake is doing so well and that we were all there to be able to help him that day,” Gudenkauf says.
She says she doesn’t watch a lot of football, but is looking forward to traveling to Lincoln, Nebraska Friday to cheer on the Hawkeyes.
Gudenkauf was telling her friends Ally and Becky that she found out she was pregnant on that day when they were called down to the field to help Jake. Her son is about ten weeks old now, and she says this is going to be a good story to tell him when he gets older.