Vinalhaven man suffers heart attack during public meeting

Posted Jan. 26, 2011, at 12:58 p.m.

VINALHAVEN, Maine — A local man had a heart attack at a board meeting of the Fox Island Electric Cooperative on Tuesday night, witnesses said Wednesday. Art Lindgren was doing well at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor on Wednesday, a family friend reported.

Lindgren, who has been a vocal opponent against the Vinalhaven wind turbines sat down after trying to pass out papers to the board.

“Art was pretty agitated” because the board members weren’t accepting the papers he was trying to give them, said Erin Creelman of Vinalhaven, who is taking a course on journalism and attended the meeting for a class assignment.

During a phone interview Wednesday, Creelman said that shortly after Lindgren sat down she hear him gasping for air and then he fell to the floor.

She reached for the phone and dialed 911. Lindgren wasn’t breathing, she told the dispatcher.

Meanwhile, she said another meeting participant, Randy Pitts, started giving the man chest compressions.

“I think he kept Art alive,” Creelman said. “He was amazing.”

An ambulance came and shocked Lindgren’s chest twice before a LifeFlight helicopter took him to the hospital, she said. Lindgren had regained consciousness by the time he left the island, Creelman said.

Chris Clarke, who is dating Lindgren’s daughter, confirmed Wednesday that Lindgren was transported to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor after his heart attack Tuesday night. As of Wednesday afternoon, Clarke said the Lindgren was doing well.

“I think he’s going to make it,” Clarke said. “We’re all pretty shaken up. I think he will pull through.”

Calls made to EMMC Wednesday morning were not immediately returned.

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