On August 16th, 63-year-old Kevin O’Connor walked into the Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) Emergency Department and said seven words that made our team immediately spring into action.
“I’m afraid I’m having a heart attack.”
Within minutes Kevin was wheeled to the back, hooked up to an ECG machine, and we administered medication and started bloodwork, while Dr. Gleason and Nurse Jaimie began to question Kevin and his wife Terry, about what had led up to this critical moment.
It turns out that Kevin has a family history of heart problems and he had suffered a heart attack five years ago. For the past few days, he had been experiencing severe heartburn, until the pain became so bad that he knew something was really wrong.
As soon as the bloodwork came back, it confirmed that Kevin was having a second heart attack and it was critical. He would have to be transferred to the regional heart centre.
“I was devastated,” recalls Kevin. “When I heard that I was having a second heart attack there was so much fear and anxiety. But I could hear Dr. Gleason on the phone to the heart centre and she said ‘I have a patient who needs your help. It can’t wait until tomorrow. It’s important you see them tonight.’ She made my transfer happen at 1:30 in the morning.”
Ten minutes later, Kevin was in the ambulance with Nurse Jaimie by his side.
Once he arrived at the heart centre, Kevin had a stent put in to remove the blockage in his heart and just two days later he was released from the hospital. And while the heart centre performed his procedure, Kevin credits the care that he received at GBGH with helping to save his life. “There’s no doubt in my mind that if Dr. Gleason and Nurse Jaimie hadn’t been so attentive and professional I would never know for sure the outcome. They were the ones who made sure I got the care I needed.”
In Kevin’s words, “I’m so proud of our healthcare system. Some people complain about our system, but trust me, they wouldn’t, if they were ever in the position I was in. I am so, so grateful for the care I received, and my wife Terry, and our six kids and nine grandchildren are all so thankful to Dr. Gleason and Nurse Jaimie for helping me continue to lead a long and happy life.”