B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

A Princeton-area man is alive today, in part, because of Facebook.

Che Lapointe suffered a serious heart attack Friday, at an isolated property on Pike Mountain Forestry Service Road.

Cell service in the area is intermittent at best. His wife, Heather Balaam, was not able to get through to emergency services.

The couple had finished a morning’s worth of chores including plowing the driveway, filling a water container, and drilling a hole in the ice.

“I noticed he was very short of breath. By the time he made it back to the house he was feeling unwell,” said Balaam. “There was a pressure across his shoulders and chest accompanied by sharp pain. He called me upstairs where he was on the couch in distress. He said he thought he was having a heart attack.”

Balaam went online and Googled what she should do to treat Lapointe’s symptoms. “[I also went] to facebook and the Princeton page to find out where the hospital was located.”

She tried several times to call 911, but could not get a signal.

“All at once I realized that I should just go back to Facebook and someone would help me. I desperately typed in a ‘help’ message and saw some responses, and knew that someone was calling 911 for me.”

Balaam searched the home looking for Aspirin, but found none.

“I was able to contact one of the logging trucks by walkie talkie – he was close and had Aspirin. I put Che in the car and drove out to the Forestry Service Road where two logging trucks were waiting for us. They crushed up four aspirin and gave him water, and assured me that 911 had been contacted.”

The truckers escorted the couple down the road to Highway 5A, allowed Balaam to speak with a 911 operator, and waited with them for the ambulance.

“Che was getting worse, but he held on,” she said. “The ambulance attendants were wonderful – Amy and Bob. They rushed him to Merritt. I followed. He was taken by special ambulance to Kelowna, code red all the way. They took him immediately to the cardiac unit where a team of doctors operated.”

The right side of Lapointe’s heart was completely blocked, however he recovered quickly.

“So many people contributed to Che’s survival. So many strangers responded to my call for help. So many have sent encouragement.”

While she acknowledged their story is “uplifting.” She also said it is “a cautionary tale.”

Balaam said doctors attributed her husband’s heart attack to smoking, and ignoring warning signs like shortness of breath, aches, and a lack of stamina.

“And we had no aspirin – small inexpensive, easily obtained, but we had none.”

She recalled that twice in the past Lapointe played a role in saving another’s life.

“A fisherman with a severe injury, and a young boy laying beside the road,” she said. “What goes around comes around.”

READ MORE: Bad weather halts search for missing B.C. snowshoer until at least Wednesday

READ MORE: Penticton victim in Kamloops shooting may be a case of mistaken identity

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Transit looking for more feedback on Sooke plan. Again.

Once approved, the plan could take seven years to implement

City of Victoria accepts $1 million cheque from seniors home developer

Milliken Development put forward the cash to the Housing Reserve Fund

Saanich-based pharmaceutical company stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Technical difficulties delay Victoria’s $500,000 Christmas light village

The Lights of Wonder display was originally set to open on Dec. 13

Canada names 24 athletes to compete for 2020 Pan Am Cross Country Cup

The event takes place at Langford’s Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa on Feb. 29

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Six B.C. municipalities accepted as interveners in Supreme Court of Canada carbon-pricing case

Victoria, Vancouver, Squamish, Richmond, Nelson and Rossland have intervener status

SOOKE HISTORY: The North Star and Sven Johansson

Elida Peers | Contributed Learning recently of the passing of Sven Johansson,… Continue reading

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

Sooke’s EMCS Wolverines drop season opener

Parkland best EMCS squad 81-64

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Economy lost 71,200 jobs in November, unemployment rate climbs to 5.9%

Jobless rate is at its highest since August 2018, when it hit 6%

Most Read