THANKS TO RVH, HE DIDN’T MISS A BEAT
In September of 2021, Tim Hughes had a heart attack. He was rushed by paramedics to RVH.
“I didn’t feel very well,” said Tim. “I started to feel woozy.”
That’s when Tim’s wife, Julie, noticed something was very wrong. She called 911 immediately. Within five minutes, the fire department was there, and minutes later, Tim was on a stretcher in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.
“I remember being in the parking area,” recalled Tim. “And then waking up later in the hospital with a doctor at the foot of my bed telling me how lucky I was to be alive.”
Since 2018, RVH has been home to the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Heart Program. With that, the Code STEMI protocol was introduced in 2020. Anyone who calls 911 or arrives at a hospital within our region with heart attack symptoms is transported directly to RVH for urgent cardiac care.
In 2021-2022, 383 patients were seen at RVH through Code STEMI, one of which was Tim.
“I hate to think what would have happened without the Urgent Cardiac Care Clinic at RVH,” said Julie. “If we had to go all the way to Southlake, I don’t think he would have made it. His one artery was 99% blocked.”
An active person, the heart attack took Tim by surprise. He had no symptoms until he started to feel unwell that day.
At RVH, a stent was placed in his heart to open the blocked artery. He spent only two days in the hospital before he was able to go home.
This is the gold standard of care that RVH strives to provide to every patient experiencing a heart event. As this region grows, the only way to continue to do that will be to expand the health centre and grow the cardiac program to provide more care to more patients.
A larger space and increased capacity will mean that care teams can treat heart disease quickly and effectively, with rehabilitation plans designed to speed recovery and reduce the risk of it recurring in the future.
“I feel great,” said Tim. “Everyone, from Barrie Fire, the EMTs, the nurses and my surgeon were fantastic. It feels surreal that I had a major heart attack and could be back home, feeling fine, two days later.”
“I had to convince him that it wasn’t a dream,” said Julie. “It was so quick. I can’t say enough about the experience. Everyone was amazing.”
Following his heart attack, Tim participated in RVH’s six-month Outpatient Cardiovascular Rehab Program. The program helps patients with safe exercises and heart-healthy lifestyle choices to prevent future cardiovascular events.
“I see my cardiologist for follow-up appointments,” said Tim. “In my last check-up, he told me that I’ve fully recovered, and I can do what I like. I played a bit of tennis at the end of the summer, and I like to walk along the lake downtown at the Barrie Waterfront.”
To help patients like Tim keep life wild, consider making a donation today to expand cardiac care here in Simcoe Muskoka.