Thanks to local donations, Sault Area Hospital was able to partner with St. Michael's Hospital to start offering a local cardiac stenting program in August of 2018. In just 2 years, there's been over 600 procedures done, and dozens of lives saved - like Stephen's.
Stephen King was standing on a lawn chatting with some friends when the attack hit, out of nowhere. In seconds, his left arm went limp, his jaw got tense and his chest felt tight. "I'd never felt anything like that before," he said. He gently lowered himself onto a chair so he wouldn't fall and his friends ran to get the car to bring him to Sault Area Hospital.
About 25 years ago, Stephen was told there may be issues with his heart – and if there were complications, he wouldn’t be able to get care in Sault Ste. Marie. Knowing his risk, he had been taking all the “right steps”. He was always active (a Nordic ski racer, marathon runner and a triathlete), never smoked, and he hasn’t eaten red meat in 40 years. He’d even had an angiogram just 18 months prior. There was no indication that “the beast” would strike when it did.
Things went sour quickly the night of Stephen’s attack; he was rushed into the hospital from the Emergency Department, and he remembers someone telling him his odds of surviving were “50/50”. At 2am Stephen was brought into the Catheterization Lab (or “Cath Lab”).
It turned out that Stephen had a 100% blockage on the right side of his heart. Dr. Bakar and the cardiac team worked quickly and opened the artery, putting in two stents. In a matter of minutes, Stephen was “fixed”.
From his admission to the hospital late Monday, to his discharge on Saturday (5 days later), Stephen was in awe of the professionalism and the teamwork of everyone at SAH. “I was thanking nurses, I was thanking cleaners, I was thanking anyone that moved!”
Stephen considers himself extremely lucky. The attack could have happened when he was at his home on the remote coast of Lake Superior. It could have happened when he was out for a hike, alone in the bush. Or it could have happened a few years ago – before this program was in place.
It is thanks to community donations that Stephen is alive today: local support of Sault Area Hospital Foundation made our cardiac stenting program possible.
Local gifts support patients at Sault Area Hospital. Give to SAH Foundation today.