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Boy collapses at Sunday mass, father thankful for EMTs quick response W/Video

When 8-year-old Evan Benetti collapsed during St. Ambrose Church service last Sunday, his father was panicked, scared and didn't know what the seizure symptoms actually were.

But within two minutes of the episode starting, Woodbury police officers/EMTs showed up to help.

They gave him the necessary oxygen and transferred him to Children's Hospital by ambulance, where his father was able to ride along.

Now that Evan is OK, his father Tim Benetti said he felt the need to attend Wednesday's Woodbury City Council meeting to thank city officials and the Public Safety Department for what they do.

He was emotional and couldn't keep the tears away as he expressed gratitude for "the top notch professionals" the city hires.

"You guys were so calm, cool, collected and I was a basket case," he said.

It turns out Evan, a hockey player, was overworked and blacked out from dehydration, Benetti said.

Benetti, whose friend's seizures have made him familiar with the symptoms, said he was scared the episode would cause more permanent damage.

"It was just so scary to see that," he said.

But within just a short time, Evan was smiling from ear-to-ear, Benetti said at the public meeting's open forum portion.

"And here is my beaming 8-year-old," he said.

As a Brooklyn Center city planner himself, Benetti knows local government officials don't get thanked all that often and most of those who attend meetings go to express concerns over various issues.

Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens echoed that and said it's important to understand the value of cross trained police officers/paramedics and how big of a role that plays in the quick response time.

"We're very excited Evan is OK," she said.

Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.