April 2024 Newsletter

From the

NFL Hall of Fame

to a Burning House

to “Mrs. Doubtfire”

to Flatlining by the Silveridge Pool

A Surprising Visit with The Trissels

By Dale Dauten

“You know how people say ‘it takes a village to raise a child’; well, it took a resort to save my husband’s life.’”


That quote is from Debbie Trissel, describing how the folks of Silveridge jumped in to help when her husband, Mark, had a heart attack and flatlined beside the resort’s swimming pools. Here’s how it transpired, in Debbie’s words:


“We were sitting on chairs beside the pool. Mark was in the hot tub, then got out and walked over and sat next to us. His head went down and one of the residents, Teresa Kohl, said that Mark didn’t look right. That’s when we saw that he was clammy and turning gray. We thought maybe he’d just passed out, but he didn’t have a pulse. Teresa said we needed to get him on the ground and start CPR. Marilyn Dehling, who’s a nurse, came over to help with the CPR. Still no pulse. He’d flatlined. Another of the residents who jumped in to help was Chris Littlejohn, and he called 911. And the paramedics came and did the paddles. Still nothing. They forced air into his lungs and shocked him again. They got him in the ambulance and took him to Mount Vista Hospital and saved his life.”


Photo: Mark in intensive care

Asked for his recollection of those events, Mark shook his head: “I have no memory from getting out of the hot tub to waking up in the hospital.” Turns out, those two memory points were days apart – the hospital put him in an induced coma to deal with pneumonia and sepsis. Mark added, “They told me I’m a walking miracle – only one percent survive what I went through.”
To increase the odds of more Silveridge miracles, the local fire department put on a CPR class, and there’s now a defibrillator mounted on the walkway wall alongside the pool. (In the photo below, that’s the reflection of the pool area captured in the unit’s glass front.)
But there’s a lot more to the Trissel’s story than flatlining by the pool – we haven’t gotten to the Hall of Fame, much less to the fire and the “Mrs. Doubtfire” movie.



Mark grew up in Canton, Ohio – so you immediately know that the football Hall of Fame is about to come into the story. Mark’s dad worked in the steel mill there, and Mark was one of eight siblings. After high school, Mark signed up for the Marine Corps Reserves and then as an apprentice bricklayer. He ended up putting in 40 years as a union man who, in his words, “earned every ache and pain.” The projects he worked on included the Hall of Fame stadium and three of its additions.


While Mark retired from his fulltime job, he began taking on side projects, including work at a local golf course. The latter allowed him to say, “I had achieved my dream: playing golf seven days a week.”


Meanwhile, Debbie was growing up downstate in Ironton, Ohio, which she described as “across from Kentucky,” adding with a laugh, “we was hill folk.” Like Mark’s father, Debbie’s dad worked in a steel mill and her family was even larger, at 10 kids. It was a fire that brought the family to Canton. They were living in a duplex when the neighbor fell asleep smoking. As Debbie described it, “The building was fully engulfed. The fire department had the kids jump out of the upper story onto a trampoline.”


Debbie spent most of her career working with plants. She’d always had a passion for plants and when she heard from the owner of the plant shop she frequented that it was going to be up for sale, she bought it. She not only sold plants; she had contracts to install and maintain greenery at local businesses. After five years as an entrepreneur, she sold the shop to her niece, but continued to work there, altogether putting in more than 20 years.



Mark recounted the day he first saw Debbie: “There was a neighborhood pub that had Friday fish fry. I was working on a hospital nearby and came in with a friend for lunch. I saw Debbie and told Bunny the barmaid – she’d become a good friend – “I’m going to marry her one day.” As for Debbie, here’s her recollection of that day: “I was with a friend for lunch and she said to me, ‘That man keeps staring at you.’” Mark bought lunch for Debbie and her friend and got a first date out of it.


While it was love at first sight for Mark, it took Debbie a bit longer. “What really did it,” Debbie confided, “was when we went to see the movie ‘Mrs. Doubtfire,’ and at one of scenes he teared up. I thought that this had to be a good guy.” She added, “He has the kindest heart. When my mom got sick, he helped with her. And when my brother had cancer, Mark moved him in with us. And we raised our granddaughter. He’s a keeper.” Mark returned the compliment by saying, “My drinking buddies all tried to steal her.”



As for the decision on a winter home, the plan was to find a spot in Florida. However, as Debbie recalled it, “That same summer it was disgustingly hot and humid in Ohio. I knew then I didn’t want to go somewhere with a lot of humidity, so I told Mark we needed to go West. I went online and started looking and after I looked at the reviews for Silveridge, we bought a place — sight unseen.”


They’ve now spent four winters at the park and have decided that want to be fulltime. It’s just hard to let go of their home in Ohio, where they have six acres and lots and lots of … yes, plants… as shown below.

Even so, Mark said that, “We can take heat better than cold” and so they figure they’ll be year-round Arizonans eventually.



As for Debbie, she took us back to where we started, to that day by the pool, and added this closing thought:


“Mark would not be alive today if it wasn’t for the kind people at Silveridge. I want everyone to know how grateful and thankful we are for their quick actions.”