Grateful Patient: Marty Roberts – Critical Care UnitMartin and Janet Roberts with nurses

Quick-acting medical professionals and life-saving equipment make all the difference when you experience the shock and trauma of a cardiac arrest.

Marty Roberts and a friend were attending a race at Ohsweken Speedway on June 30th and were excited to be part of a pit crew for the friend’s brother. As the two walked across the parking lot on their way to the track, Marty’s friend noticed him struggling and asked if he wanted to stop for a minute. Marty remembers telling him yes, but that’s all.

When his friend turned around, Marty was face down on the ground and had no pulse.

An off-duty doctor saw what had happened and immediately started cardiopulmonary resuscitation. An off-duty paramedic also came upon the scene and began to help until the onsite ambulance arrived with an automated external defibrillator to try to shock Marty’s heart back into rhythm.

They quickly got Marty in the ambulance and on his way to the Brant Community Healthcare System (BCHS) Emergency Room (ER).

“We got here, and, to be honest, I don’t remember anything until about 10 days later when I came to,” he said.

His wife, Janet, was called at their home in Kitchener, and was at Marty’s side within a couple of hours.

Dr. Charlie Wang was on duty in the ER when Marty arrived. He was able to tell Janet that Marty had experienced a cardiac arrest, but there was no clear indication as to why it had occurred. An electrocardiogram didn’t show any damage to his heart, but the next 24 hours were going to be critical to his recovery.

Marty was transferred to the Critical Care Unit (CCU) and was under the care of BCHS nurse, Patti Meggitt. Janet said Patti was very caring and compassionate, asking gently if Janet could answer some questions about Marty’s health, recognizing it was 2 a.m. and she was still trying to adjust to what was happening to her husband.

Janet was impressed by the modern, clean and welcoming environment in the CCU and thankful for the medical staff answering all her questions and helping her understand what was happening with Marty.

“They were pretty honest,” she said. “They said he was very, very sick.”

While Marty was put on a respirator and his body cooled (to diminish possible brain swelling and improve neurological outcomes), Janet said she hunkered down in the waiting room for the night.

Patti learned about this and made sure Janet knew she could get her night’s rest in the family room right inside the CCU. That way, Janet was close when Patti woke her the third morning to let her know Marty had responded to his name.

After almost a week on the respirator, Marty was able to breathe on his own.

“We thought we were out of the woods for a while,” said Janet, adding Marty was even able to eat on his own. But on July 9, Marty had a heart attack. Further testing determined the problem was a severely blocked artery.

BCHS Internist Dr. Yousery Koubaesh contacted a colleague who was able to see Marty at an area cardiac centre the very next day for an angioplasty procedure to free the blockage.

Marty remembers shaking Dr. Koubaesh’s hand as he left in an ambulance, accompanied by a nurse.

After a successful intervention and a few weeks of rehabilitation, Marty was pleased to be able to return for a visit to the BCHS Critical Care Unit to thank the staff personally for all that they did for him.

The equipment supported by donor dollars isn’t all ‘nice to have’—it is critical, much-needed medical equipment required to perform daily diagnostics and care for patients.

As Marty has learned first-hand, when crisis or illness impacts you or a loved one, the Brant Community Healthcare System is here to offer you exceptional healthcare in your time of need.

Your involvement, through a donation of any size, will allow the BCHS Foundation to purchase patient equipment not funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, provide essential resources to maintain the exceptional level of compassionate patient care, and invest in new and innovative technology.

To make a donation, click here or call 519-751-5510.

This holiday season, give a gift that could save a life and be a part of the Brant Community Healthcare System Foundation’s 12 Days of Giving Campaign.

Photo above: Marty and Janet Roberts with Nurses Samantha Paulmert, Charlotte Marshall, Tammy Kemp