Philip & Vicki Conrad – Lunenburg, N.S.

An AED saved my husband’s life on the night of Wednesday, November 12, 2012.

My husband was playing hockey (goalie) at the rink just down the street from us. He was 58 at the time and most of the players were close to his age as well. I heard the ambulance go down past our house and then stop. I felt that it had stopped at the rink and was going to call my husband to find out what had happened but then thought, “Oh, I’ll just wait until he gets home”. The phone call came from the rink a bit later from one of his fellow hockey players, a doctor, telling me what had happened and that I should come down.

Philip had been fine all day, but when on the ice, he felt he had heartburn again and wasn’t feeling well at all. He thought of leaving the ice for the change room, but thankfully he stayed on the ice. The play was at the other end when someone noticed Philip laying on the ice. They all rushed to him, but he was unresponsive. That night there were also three emergency room doctors playing hockey as well as a firefighter. They started working on him right away and also had to remove his upper hockey gear but there was still no response. There was an AED in the rink which the one doctor ran for while a young hockey player called 911. The AED had to be used three times before he came back to life. The paramedics arrived shortly afterwards (I believe they were stationed in Mahone Bay that night) and took over his care and administered the clot buster drug. The next day he was taken from the South Shore Regional Hospital in Bridgewater to a hospital in Halifax where he was given two stents.

It’s changed our outlook on life. We say ‘I love you’ even if the other is just going to the store or walking the dog, because you just never know. If he hadn’t made it that night he would have missed his daughter’s wedding and the birth of a second grandchild. We never travelled before, but now we’ve had several trips and adventures and hopefully many more to come. Sometimes, I just look at him and think, I could have been a widow now for five years and all on my own if it hadn’t been for that AED. We also celebrate his re-birthday every year on that date.

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