On Monday, September 18, 2017, I got to see firsthand how lucky we are in Meaford to have such a dedicated and skilled emergency team.
In the weeks prior to the said date, I had been feeling weak and felt like I was running on ‘one lung’. I had difficulty climbing stairs and was always catching my breath.
The weekend of the 16/17th, while I was doing my re-certification in First Aid at Blue Mountain things finally came to a head. The Sunday as part of our course we moved outside to the hillside portion of the course. I only had to walk a short distance to the bottom of the ski hill. Suddenly I could only walk for about 6′ and had to stop and rest. Walk another 6′ and again take a break. This continued for quite a while, all the while thinking “what is wrong with me”. I remember feeling quite agitated. I recovered enough to finish that portion of the course. Went home, had some dinner and went to bed.
Monday morning, I tried to have some breakfast and could barely make it from one side of the kitchen counter to the other. My wife said that I looked like s***. My brother arrived, as we had a lunch date, and said I looked like s***. My wife said you are going to the hospital.
When I arrived at the emergency entrance the process started. I was diagnosed by the resident (name) with acute renal failure. The potassium level in my blood was dangerously high and my heart was beating at 37 bpm. I was dying. Talk of DNR was suggested. The doctor on call, Dr. Sauriol, was calling all over southern Ontario to find somewhere with emergency dialysis for me. Finally found a spot for me in London. Now, how to get me there. As usual the weather did not cooperate and a thunderstorm developed. No air ambulance. I was transferred to an ambulance with an ECG machine attached to me, with a resident and a nurse to accompany me.
Three hours later we arrive at London (Victoria Hospital). I was immediately taken to CCTC where a (device) was inserted into my neck and I was attached to the lifesaving machine. Hours later I was transferred to the (Nephrology Ward) for my recovery. Bloodwork was done every few hours to make certain I was recovering. Soon blood levels returned to within normal parameters. The nursing staff was terrific and made a very difficult situation bearable. I recovered enough to be released on the Thursday. Family came and brought me home.
That I am alive is a testament to the prompt and professional treatment I received; from the team at Meaford hospital, the ambulance drivers, and the team at the London Victoria Hospital.
You can say all you want about how ‘poor’ our medical care is in Ontario, but to me it is the best there is.
Paul Besley, Meaford