Herald JournalHerald Journal, July 19, 2004

Two local girls help save NYA man’s life

By Ryan Gueningsman

On their way to an afternoon horseback ride, two local girls suddenly found themselves helping to save a man’s life.

Meghann Eiden of Lester Prairie, and Tonya Gregoire of Howard Lake, both 17, were driving down Carver County Road 32 June 28 when they came upon 61-year-old Dennis Grant Degn of Norwood Young America laying unconscious in the ditch about 50 feet from a small Honda scooter.

“We were really scared, and wondered at first if it was someone playing a practical joke, cause it’s not funny,” Gregoire said. “I know CPR though and thought, ‘we gotta do this.’”

As Gregoire approached Degn, Eiden dialed 911, and Degn began to lift up his head. Gregoire remembers telling Degn that “I am here to help you.”

“When he started picking his head up, I wasn’t so scared any more,” Gregoire said. The two girls began talking to Degn, and asked him questions such as how long he was laying there, and what his wife’s name was.

“It took him a few minutes to even remember his wife’s name,” Eiden said. Gregoire figured Degn had to have been laying there for quite a while because the blood on his face was dry.

The girls also found Degn’s wallet to figure out who he was, as well as picked up some of Degn’s personal belongings that had been thrown about the road.

Eiden and Gregoire said that Ria Roland of the New Germany First Responders arrived shortly after, took out her medical bag, and began attending to Degn.

Degn was taken to the hospital with some head injuries, according to the Carver County Sheriff’s Department. Further information on Degn’s condition was unavailable.

Eiden is a senior at Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Schools, and will be taking post-secondary classes at Ridgewater College this fall.

Gregoire is a student at Dassel-Cokato High School, and hopes to graduate early to pursue serving in the Army National Guard full-time, of which she has been in since November 11, 2003.

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