Hedley shows its community’s true heart and soul during medical emergency

In the small communities of our valley, people come and people go, events take place that make you sing or cry, and milestones are met.

To the Editor:

In the small communities of our valley, people come and people go, events take place that make you sing or cry, milestones are met, plans change, jubilation and sadness are shared. This is all part of the intricacies of living in a “community” and living life together.  Seldom do you feel the effects, or even have the knowledge of the details in your neighboring communities when something wonderful happens or something tragic.  This story needed to be shared.

The Hedley Community Club was hosting a Grey Cup party where the green definitely out numbered the black and gold and good food and neighbours had joined to watch the game.  The group of 35 was a real mix…some interested in the game, all interested in the food.

Half time was nearly over when one of our members just slipped out of his chair onto the floor and laid there unconscious.  After a very brief silence the room jumped into action. Within 15 seconds, CPR was being performed, 911 had been called and a defibrillator was on scene within 10 minutes.  Sitting next to this member was First Responder Doug Nimchuck who, without hesitation, was upon him doing chest compressions and retired Registered Nurse, Cherie, was immediately across the room involved, counting rhythm, relating instructions, accessing and encouraging.  Another first responder was at the event and two more were there within minutes and the duties of saving our friend’s life was shared by this confident, capable, professional group of people.

The severity of the situation was clear.  The drama was being watched as if it were on TV.  “We got him …” “Let’s go….don’t stop”, “He’s fighting me”,  “go, go, go, go, go” !

Wow!  This generous, active member of our club is alive and now has a pace maker. It was said there might not be one big enough for him, as he is a man with a very big heart.  He would not be with us today if the situation had been any different. If he had been at home, on the road, or anywhere else,  for that matter,  he would not have lived.  If this unusual mix of people had not come to the hall this day he would not have lived. He was gone twice and brought back to life.

I just thought everybody should know what a fortunate community we live in to have volunteers that are able to take a life and death situation and apply their knowledge and skills to save a neighbour and friend.  Bravo to you all!

T.J. Bratt, Hedley


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