When friends Trevor Warkentin, owner of Kees Tae Kwon Do, and Cam Manning, Lake Country Realtor, set out to play recreational hockey on the morning of September 28th at the Winfield Arena they didn’t know it would be a life changing experience.
At the end of the 1st period after a long shift on the ice Cam returned to the bench with some discomfort and complaining of being out of breath and too hot. While in the locker room between periods Trevor and other members of the team cautioned Cam to take it easy for the next period. After a shift or two in the second period Cam decided to sit out the rest of the game.
In the dressing room when the game ended, conversation had started with members of the team saying: “Cam, we should take you to the hospital to get checked out.” Seconds later Cam collapsed into team mate Gord Geistlinger’s arms. Trevor was showering and heard someone yelling “Cam!” from the locker room. Trevor ran out of the shower to find Cam non-responsive and in cardiac arrest. Trevor and Gord positioned Cam on the floor and Trevor started CPR chest compressions. Another team member made a 9-1-1 call and ran to find Arena staff member Lea Kunz who ran and got the defibrillator (AED) off the wall near the mid-ice rink access door.
Both Trevor and the arena staff were able to attach the defibrillator and deliver a shock before LCFD Station 71 first responder crews arrived. The 9-1-1 Medical Response Call came in to Lake Country Fire Department at 1:00pm and the team, already assembled for an earlier response, (Glen Gregory, Quinn Gallacher, Eric De Gelder, Peter Whitfield and Brent Penner) arrived on the scene at 1:03pm.
Entering the dressing room, they saw the AED had been deployed and effective CPR was in progress. LCFD members took over the scene and continued with CPR and added Bag-Valve-Mask Ventilation (breathing for the patient). The AED did find a shockable rhythm a couple times and in those circumstances the heart was defibrillated. When BC Ambulance Service arrived at 1:17pm Cam had a pulse and was breathing on his own but was still unconscious.
The Advanced Life Support Ambulance crew arrived at 1:19pm and continued with their protocols and had Cam prepared for transport by 1:26pm. At that time Cam was awake and having a brief conversation with LCFD members adjacent to him while loading him into the ambulance. Volunteer firefighter and primary care paramedic-trained Quinn Gallacher of LCFD was asked to ride along with the Kelowna team. Quinn and Fiona – the Kelowna Advanced Life Support EMT – continued to provide the necessary life support for Cam en route to KGH. Both Quinn and Fiona stayed to assist in the Cath Lab at Kelowna General Hospital as the cardiac surgeons and nurses performed numerous angioplasties to ultimately save Cam’s life.
The AED (Automated External Defibrillator) was installed at Winfield Arena November 2015 thanks to a grant from the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Staff were trained on the use of the AED in November 2015 and then again in First Aid classes February 2016.
Gathering the information from many perspectives to tell this story has emphasized the significant impact of every person’s caring involvement that contributes to enhancing the lives of others in our community. A single small act can contribute to an amazingly positive outcome when combined with other single acts. Taking the initiative to get involved is what makes the difference. In this story, the difference was that a life was saved – and there is nothing more valuable than that!
The following letter was received by Mayor and Council following this incident:
Oct 22nd 2016
Lake Country Mayor & Council
Sept 28th 2016 after 23 years of playing countless numbers of hockey games at the Lake Country Arena I suffered a massive heart attack as I sat in the change room. I send this letter to commend and give thanks to the members of the half-century men’s hockey teams, the District of Lake Country’s rink attendants, the Lake Country Fire Dept. and BC ambulance EMTs. Without the support of these men & ladies quick & professional response I would not have survived. Having an AED at the arena and personnel not afraid to use it was paramount to my survival.
One of my 1st thoughts after 3 days of unconsciousness was how great it is to live in this place called Lake Country. My family and I are overwhelmed with gratitude to live in this community that has such a professional and caring team of 1st responders. My wife & I have personally thanked these men & women who were there that day. We would like to also express our thanks to you as Mayor & Council for your leadership in our Community.
All the Best,