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An emotional reunion at Elkhart General

Diana Troost of South Bend suffered a “widowmaker” heart attack in the spring.

But on Wednesday, Troost and her granddaughter, Margaux (pronounced Margo) Hannewyk reunited with the two Elkhart General Hospital nurses who saved Troost’s life when they saw her fall to the ground while shopping at University Park Mall.

Robyn Gerencser and Laura Holmberg, RNs, who work in the operating room at Elkhart General and are best friends, performed CPR to resuscitate Troost at the mall that Saturday afternoon as her 10-year-old granddaughter looked on helplessly.

“It was the scariest point in my life. I’m just so happy that you were there,” Margaux told Robyn and Laura through tear-filled eyes. “I’m so grateful and thankful. I never thought something like this would actually happen.”

Troost either. Although looking back, she had experienced jaw pain — a warning sign of a heart attack, earlier that afternoon. She just didn’t know what it meant at the time.

She didn’t know it would almost take her life.

“I’m almost back to normal now,” Troost told the nurses. “And I realized that I shouldn’t sweat the small stuff any more.”

Then, addressing Carl Risk, Hospital President, Karra Heggan, Vice President of Nursing, and others in the room Wednesday, Troost expressed her gratitude for the nurses she calls “angels.”

And she commended them for caring.

“I’m the person it happened to, but this is their story to tell. I couldn’t have survived without their help,” Troost said.

“So if there’s ever anything I can do, like babysit,” she told Robyn, who had been seven months pregnant when she performed CPR, and the women shared a laugh at their emotional reunion. Robyn brought her weeks-old baby girl with her Wednesday.

Troost added, “Now that I found them, they won’t be able to get rid of me.”

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About Heidi Prescott

Passionate about writing her whole life, Heidi Prescott joined Beacon Health System in 2015 and currently serves as Director of Communications. A former newspaper journalist who has experience in TV, radio, magazines and social media, Heidi loves storytelling, photography and spending time in nature.