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Notre Dame

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Michigan coach Hoke among Irish fan's well-wishers

BAY CITY, Mich. – A Notre Dame fan who survived a heart attack during last month’s game at Michigan can list Wolverines’ coach Brady Hoke among his well-wishers.

Leo Staudacher told The Bay City Times ( ) for a story published Tuesday that he got a handwritten note from Hoke on a greeting card bearing an image of Michigan’s football helmet. The note says the University of Michigan “family” was proud to care for Staudacher.

“He said, `You were in the right place,'" said Staudacher, a 69-year-old Bay City retiree.

Staudacher, who said he is feeling remarkably well in the wake of his ordeal, kept the bulk of the message from Hoke to himself.

“This is from a guy who cares enough about a human being to sit down with a felt pen and write a note,” Staudacher said. “It’s someone he doesn’t know, has never met and is a Notre Dame fan, but he took the time to do it. If that isn’t class, I don’t know what is.”

The school has said Staudacher’s heart stopped during the second quarter of the Sept. 10 game at Michigan Stadium. He survived thanks in part a bystander who performed CPR and others who called for a medical team that used an automated electric defibrillator on site.

The medical team then took him to the University of Michigan Health System’s Cardiovascular Center for treatment, where he was able to watch part of the final quarter on television from an intensive-care-unit bed – and saw Michigan’s thrilling 35-31 win.

Staudacher credits his survival to those who jumped to his aid, including Marvin Sonne, a dentist from Trenton who was in the stands and performed CPR, as well as Jan Tardiff, a nursing supervisor at Bay Regional Medical Center who quickly arrived to help.

Staudacher has been invited to attend an American Heart Association’s event in Ann Arbor on Oct. 22 to present Sonne with a lifesaving award.