Jack Klock surveyed the ambulance bay at the Port Alberni Ambulance Station on Wednesday morning, and thought the view was surreal. He never thought he would be gathered there with the small group of Emergency Health Services dignitaries, guests, and the paramedics who helped save his life.
“It’s phenomenal they worked that long on me,” said Klock, who last spring collapsed in cardiac arrest at his Port Alberni home.
“I don’t know why they didn’t give up,” Klock’s wife Carol said.
Carol Klock was one of two people to receive a Vital Link award at the Port Alberni Ambulance Station on Wednesday, Aug. 1. Doctor Dave Ness also received an award for stabilizing a man who collapsed during a pickleball game at the Sproat Lake Community Hall earlier this year. Ness used an automatic external defibrillator (AED) to kickstart Al Jones’ heart back into a normal rhythm.
Several people who assisted in getting Jones help received Good Samaritan awards at the same ceremony: Elaine Jones (Al’s wife); Bob and Jan Cole; Linda and John Bowers; Tom and Marilyn Oldfield.
Vital Link awards are given out by BC Emergency Health Services to anybody that actively does CPR in the successful resuscitation of a patient. Good Samaritan awards are given to anyone who aids people in a medical emergency.
The morning was an emotional one for the Klocks. Last spring Carol was in the livingroom of their Port Alberni home when she heard a noise from the bathroom, where Jack was taking a shower. She discovered him collapsed in the bathtub, his heart stopped.
Carol called 911 and a dispatcher coached Carol to provide Jack with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until paramedics could arrive. Eric Gill and Vince Painchaud then spent another 45 minutes administering CPR before they were able to stabilize Jack and transport him to hospital.
“I can’t believe they worked on me for that long,” Jack said.
The Klocks were able to meet that 911 dispatcher who helped save his life, Natalie Rumsby, as well as Gill and Painchaud at Wednesday’s ceremony
“It’s amazing; it truly is,” Jack Klock said about meeting Rumsby and the responding paramedics, who helped save his life.
“It’s because of them that I’m alive and here today,” Klock said. “They started it to begin with. Carol, doing the exercise in the bathtub trying to get me to breathe, and it kept the blood flow going to the point where I didn’t lose any brain cells.”
It was also an emotional day for Rumsby, the 911 dispatcher from the Victoria dispatch centre who took Carol Klock’s call. She calmly coached Carol through CPR for the 10 minutes before the paramedics arrived.
“ It’s really special to be able to meet them,” Rumsby said. “I don’t get this follow-up very often, so to be able to meet them in person and get to shake their hands and give them hugs is very special.”
Surviving cardiac incidents and having similar pacemakers/ defibrillators implanted in their shoulders aren’t the only things Jack Klock and Al Jones had in common: they and others involved in reviving Jones had trained as ski patrol members a few decades ago. Klock said part of that training was learning first aid.