On April 9, Debbie Hanuman of Brooklyn Park joined emergency medical personnel to celebrate the birthday of her husband, Rudy.
"He is a miracle," Debbie said.
She calls Rudy "a miracle" because he nearly died last July.
"I was actually driving home, gave my wife a call, and let her know that I'm having some chest pains would you mind taking me to the hospital," Rudy recalled.
"I asked him to pull over and offered to call 911," Debbie remembers saying. "He didn't want to do that."
"I got home, I didn't greet our dog," Rudy remembered.
"He used the restroom and within a minute I heard him collapse in our bathroom, and then he went into the cardiac arrest," Debbie said as tears began to well up in her eyes.
Fortunately, CPR saved Rudy's life.
That's why Debbie and Rudy made their way to the state Capitol Thursday morning to join others in support of a bill that would require Minnesota students to learn CPR.
"It's important because it will save lives," Debbie said.
The group, led by Prince's former drummer, Bobby "Z" Rivkin — himself a heart attack survivor— had one mission: march down the halls of the state Capitol to Governor Dayton's office and encourage him to sign the bill.
Then, the group hit an unexpected roadblock.
The governor was surrounded by a media horde. He was feet away from Bobby Z, Debbie and Rudy, but Dayton's only objective was to talk to the press about the Vikings stadium situation.
"Football is king you know," Bobby Z said with a laugh.
Once that press conference wrapped up, the best the group could do is meet with one of Governor Dayton's staff members.
"It's so important to teach students for 5–10 minutes, hands CPR, before they graduate high school, you know just think of the lives that could be saved," Bobby Z said to Dayton's staffer. "So whatever you can do to bend the governor's ear."
Meanwhile, Debbie and Rudy Hanuman know first-hand what CPR can do.
"CPR is what saved my husband's life and timing was so crucial," Debbie said. "I believe that if more people are aware of what they need to do, the more lives would be saved."
Officials with the American Heart Association say schools can access a number of resources across the state to provide the CPR training at no cost.
Meantime, the AHA says the bill does have bipartisan support. Governor Dayton has until Saturday to decide whether to sign it into law.
April 19, 2012