Personal Story - Martin's Story: Moments That Matter

Thanks to a quick thinking care team, and equipment provided by donors, Emergency staff were able to bring Martin back to life when he went into cardiac arrest last spring. 

“I was told that a human being couldn’t live through this much trauma,” explains Martin’s wife, Margaret, who waited outside the room in the Emergency Department as the care team did everything they could to get Martin’s heart beating again.

After clot-busting medication, rounds of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and shocking Martin with a defibrillator didn’t work, Dr. Adam Szulewski and his senior resident Dr. Colin Bell decided to take a more innovative approach. They asked a nurse to get a second defibrillator as they prepared for a procedure that had never been performed in the Kingston hospitals.


“Instead of doing the typical one shock as we always do, as has been taught for years and as are the current guidelines for this, we did the double shock,” explains Dr. Szulewski. Interestingly enough, [the double-shock] was something that I heard about randomly at a dinner party a few days beforehand. Colin had just heard about this as well, so we said ‘ok, let’s do it.’”

The double-shock worked. Martin’s heart began beating in a normal rhythm and he was transferred to the catheterization laboratory where a large clot was removed from his coronary arteries. Martin then spent a week in the Intensive Care Unit.

His journey wasn’t over, though. Once he returned home, Martin was visited by staff from Providence Care’s Community Brain Injury Services team, and he regularly visits Hotel Dieu Hospital for follow up appointments in the Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre.

Just four weeks after his heart attack, Martin walked his daughter down the aisle and danced with her on her wedding day. It was a moment he will never forget, and it was made possible by the exceptional quality of care here in Kingston and the generosity of donors like you.

“Thank God we live in Kingston and have a hospital with fresh minds,” said Martin, “If this had happened anywhere else, would I be lucky enough to have had the team I did?”