An eastern Iowa woman will be honored at the upcoming football game between the University of Iowa and the University of Nebraska, according to game organizers.
Katie Gudenkauf will receive the commendation as Iowa's hero during the annual Hy-Vee Heroes Game between the Hawkeyes and Cornhuskers on Friday afternoon in Lincoln. The award is presented with the American Red Cross.
KCRG-TV 9 reports Gudenkauf was watching an indoor soccer tournament being held at Clarke University in Dubuque last March. One of the players, Jake Tebbe, collapsed when his heart stopped beating. Gudenkauf performed first aid with the help of other friends and nurses, saving the player's life.
Gudenkauf is currently a family practice nurse practitioner at Grant Regional Health Center in Lancaster, Wisc.
“All Hy-Vee Heroes Game honorees exemplify what it means to be a hero,” Leslie Schaffer, Regional Executive for the American Red Cross Iowa Region, said, in a statement. “Their life-saving actions define why the American Red Cross, Hy-Vee, the University of Iowa and the University of Nebraska partner together each year to showcase extraordinary citizens in both states.”
The Nebraska hero, James Wilke, of Columbus, was killed while attempting to rescue a motorist who had become stranded in floodwaters during the historic spring flooding in 2019. Wilke was asked by local authorities to assist, and a bridge washed away while he was crossing it to get to the victim. He was swept away by the waters below.
Gudenkauf and Wilke will be recognized at a halftime ceremony and their names will be inscribed on the Heroes Trophy.
Friday's kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. and it will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
(Photo courtesy of American Red Cross-Iowa Region)