Home for the Holidays

Home for the Holidays

I never thought I’d have a heart attack.

I’m only 50 years old. I don’t smoke, I’m active and I take good care of myself.

But when I arrived at Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) with extreme chest pains, I couldn’t breathe. I was vomiting. Sweating and shaking profusely. And I couldn’t get enough oxygen to my brain. It was the scariest thing that ever happened to me.

The Emergency Room doctor rushed me in, and I was given nitroglycerin. The team ran a battery of tests including blood work and an ECG while trying to get my breathing under control. I don’t recall a lot of what happened after that. But I do remember being told that I’d had a heart attack. I was cared for in the Emergency Department, admitted to the 2 East inpatient unit, and received care at the regional cardiac care centre.

During my week at the hospital, I received the very best care possible.

All of the doctors, nurses and staff showed me such incredible kindness. I have nothing but love, respect and appreciation for every single person who works at the hospital and the many people who went above and beyond for me.

Including one nurse in particular named Stacy, who looked after me when I was admitted. On the unit, I was hooked up to multiple machines to monitor my heart and most nights around 2:00 a.m. my monitor would go off and everyone would run into the room. It was really scary, but Stacy was always so kind and straight forward, reassuring me that it was going to be okay.

And she was right. After being transferred to the regional cardiac care centre for an angiogram and then back to GBGH for follow up care, I was released a few days later. Today, I’m back home with my family and looking forward to celebrating the upcoming holidays in the new home where we just moved.

This experience has reminded me that having a great hospital in our community is the last thing on your mind, until it’s the only thing on your mind.

I have been there, and I’m grateful that I made it home.  Recently, I found out that the heart monitor used for my care on 2E is a telemetry monitor. This essential piece of equipment relays vital information from the patient’s bedside directly to the ICU nursing station, so that critically ill patients can be monitored 24/7. It’s thanks to the support of caring donors that the hospital was able to purchase 10 telemetry monitors last year.

I know first-hand that having the right equipment is essential to providing the highest level of care possible, right here at home.

GBGH definitely saved my life.

Because I received the care I needed, when I needed it most, I have so much to look forward to today – spending time with my wife Julie and our son Hunter, a special family trip that we’re planning and to making memories in our new home for the holidays.