Ian North says the “army” of hospital staff that saved his life deserves praise.
North suffered a massive double lung pulmonary embolism on Sept. 13 and required two hours of resuscitation at the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital in Bracebridge.
“Ian had, unknown to us, blood clots in his lungs,” says his wife Jen.
She explains they were enjoying a glass of wine one evening when Ian started having a difficult time breathing. Jen says she immediately called 911 but by the time paramedics arrived, Ian was feeling better. “It was kind of coming and going,” she says. Despite the tests paramedics did showing he was “good on paper, Ian did go to the hospital to get checked out.
“I was waiting to find out,” says Jen.
Ian called Jen soon after arriving. Doctors told him about the clots in his lungs and he told Jen to come to the hospital. “By the time I got to the hospital he was in cardiac arrest,” she says.
“I don’t remember a lot of it because I was unconscious or semi-conscious for most of the time,” says Ian. He does, however, remember getting scanned at the Bracebridge hospital, which is when they realized he had blood clots, but his next memory is seven days later when he woke up in the intensive care unit at the Soldier’s Memorial Hospital in Orillia.
It took two hours of resuscitation at the Bracebridge hospital to bring Ian back after the cardiac arrest. “The doctors held my hand and were very caring,” Jen says. “They gave me odds, and they weren’t good.” Ian was later airlifted to Orillia by ORNGE Air Ambulance. “And I had a front-row seat to the whole thing and I’ve got to say that’s when I was moved and I said if he comes through this I have to pay this forward,” Jen adds.
On top of sharing their story, Jen is auctioning off some of her artwork in hopes of raising $5,400 for the hospital foundation. It’s for a crash cart, which allows hospital staff to easily wheel around needed equipment.
“There is nothing I can ever do that can repay the hospital staff,” Jen says. However, helping them be able to purchase better equipment is the least she says she can do.
“We are so grateful for the meaningful support,” says Leah Walker, Executive Director of the hospital foundation. “and immensely proud of our health care system.”
The art is being sold through Jen’s Facebook page Box of Paints.
Jen and Ian say if they can get one thing across with their story, it’s that you should never hesitate to go the hospital. “If you’re a perfectly healthy person and all of a sudden you have a hard time breathing, it’s a good sign you should go to the hospital,” says Jen.