The morning of February 24, 2020 will be one Kriss Bush, current board member of Oakville Hospital Foundation, will never forget.
While getting ready for work, Kriss was experiencing shortness of breath and a feeling of numbness growing down his right arm. He thought this feeling was a muscle strain from lifting heavy boxes from the night before. But this felt different. Kriss immediately called his wife, Kari, who is a Unit Clerk at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH).
^The support of his wife and OTMH staff is the reason Kriss is here today.
“She told me to either call our family doctor or come straight to the Emergency Room (ER),” recalls Kriss.
He drove to OTMH, parked his car, and rushed to the ER.
Too weak to stand, an ER nurse took Kriss into a room and hooked him up to an ECG. In between the heart rate beeps on the monitor, he texted his wife.
I’m here. Don’t worry. I’ll let you know what they tell me.
Shortly after receiving his text, Kari heard a code blue called throughout hospital – the emergency code for cardiac arrest. She knew Kriss was in trouble and ran to the ER to be by her husband’s side.
Kriss said to her, “Just tell the kids I love them, and I love you.” It was seconds later when Kriss felt a sense of peace.
“Everything went gray. The whole thing was so quick and sudden,” recalls Kriss. “I didn’t feel any immense pain. I felt like I was on a cloud.”
In that moment, Kari witnessed her husband’s resuscitation as a group of doctors and nurses worked to bring him back.
“They started asking me questions like, ‘do you know where you are?’” says Kriss. “They told me they resuscitated me and were taking me to a regional cardiac health centre for a cardiac procedure.”
Following his procedure, Kriss was transferred back to OTMH’s ICU for observation.
“I think when you go through one of these life altering situations, you see it as a wakeup call to give back to others,” says Kriss. “The people in the ER that day gave me a second chance at life, at being able to give back to my community. It’s a gift.”
Now, Kriss is in recovery and taking care of his heart health. He enjoys going on walks and getting fresh air. He no longer obsesses over his endless to-do list, and is instead focusing on his faith, learning how to slow down, and finding ways to give back to his community.
“Now I look at what happened and say, ‘Okay I’ve gone through something pretty intense, but I feel loved and cared for thanks to the staff at OTMH,’” finishes Kriss. “And of course, thanks to my wife, too.”
Help patients like Kriss continue to receive life-saving healthcare, close to home.