One Person Can Save So Many Lives...

Apr 22, 2009

This week (April 19-25) is National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week. Organ donation is a matter that hits close to home. A family friend had a heart attack last August, at only 28 years of age. He is alive today because somebody gave him the gift of life... a heart transplant. Talk to your family, sign your donor card.
Here is Scott's inspirational story, written in his own words.
My name is Scott Ouellette. I'm a 29 years old. On April 22, 2008 I was playing ball hockey in Red Deer when with about 10 mins left in the game I started having a heart attack. Not knowing it was a heart attack I finished the game and was extremely out of breath. Going against My girlfriend’s advice I went home in hopes it would pass. Approx 4 hours later at 2:00 am on April 23, 2008 I finally couldn't take the pain anymore and as we went to go to the car I collapsed. At that point we decided to call 911 and paramedics arrived within mins and transferred me to the Red Deer hospital. I was lucky that night as there was a cardiologist in the ER and diagnosed me with a heart attack. I remember him coming up to me and I asked him if "I would be ok" and he said "No, you've had a massive heart attack, you’re going to Calgary".
At that point STARS was dispatched to Red Deer and I was intabated. I arrived at the Foothills hospital around 5:45am on the 23rd and placed on life support. A team of doctors and my family had decided to place me on a ventricular assist device (VAD) to run the left side of my heart as it was no longer working. After waiting the day in hopes my lungs would clear at approx 5:00am on April 24th I went into cardiac arrest. I was shocked out of it and rushed to the OR. At approx 5:30am I went into cardiac arrest for a 2nd time and saved again. The operation was done and I was out of the OR at approx 4:00pm. I really do not remember much of the next week but once I was aware of what was going on I was told the harsh reality of what has and is going to happen. I was told I had had a massive heart attack. The “VAD” was running the left side of my heart and I would need a transplant. One of my first question was if I would be able to play hockey again and they told me I should be able
I spent every minute of the next 40 days in the foothills hospital and the only thing that made it bearable was my family and friends visits and when I found out that there was a World Transplant Games. I had to spend my mothers 50th birthday in the hospital but the hardest day in there was mother’s day. It was very hard to think about all the people coming to see there mothers and grandmothers in the hospital but my mother had to come visit her son.
I was released to my parent’s house on June 4th (one day before my 29th birthday) and was happy to be out of the hospital. Being on the VAD at my parents house was difficult as I always had to have someone with me and 95% of the time it was my girlfriend Amy taking care of me. As everyday passed I was feeling better and better. It was late June when I decided I felt to go to sit around and do nothing so I tried to golf on the VAD. Some people thought it was crazy that I could do it and some people thought I was crazy for trying. By mid July I was shooting around 90. My low score for the summer was 87. If you would like to see how I did it I have videos posted on you tube (just search oly29 and there is about 13 videos). On Aug 14th Amy and I went golfing for the last time with the VAD. At approx 3:30am on Aug 15th I received a call that a donor heart has been found and an ambulance will be at my
house within the hour.
Amy and I were taken to the Calgary airport medivac hanger and placed on the air ambulance for our trip to Edmonton. We arrived in the U of A hospital around 5:30am and place in a room to wait till they were ready. As organ transport is a time game we waited till about 4:00pm till they took me to the OR. As I was saying Bye to Amy and my Parents my sister made it up there just before I went into the OR. I did not know if I would ever see any of them again. The most terrifying thing was lying on the OR bed knowing that your most vital organ will be taken out and a “new” one will be put in and you may not survive.

The transplant took 13 hours because they had to remove the VAD and when they put the“new” heart in it stopped and had to be restarted. I woke up the night of the 16th In ICU on a breathing tube unable to speak or bend my legs. When the “new heart stopped in the OR it took a little hit to the right side and they wanted to “rest” it so they could not remove the breathing tube in case something happened. I was awake and aware for the next 5 days with the breathing tube. Without going thru that I don’t think I could explain how unbelievably difficult it was to be as alert as I was and breath through a tube. Everything in your mind just wants you to swallow but every time you do it hurts. The breathing tube was finally removed on Aug 21st and I could finally speak but most importantly I could tell Amy and my family that I loved them. I was transferred back to the foothills hospital on Aug 27.

As of today Dec 16th 2008 I am back at work and playing floor hockey and engaged to be married to Amy. I have started training for the 2011 transplant games where I hope to be participating in golf, badminton, volleyball, and floorball. I will forever be grateful to the family of my donor heart who had to make a very difficult decision at a very difficult time to save my life. I received the greatest gift of all…the gift of life and I don’t intend to waste it. To everyone who helped me on this journey, thank you.
I will never forget the summer of 2008.

Scott “Tinman”


Gio said...

Incredible story. God bless!

I am a donor according to my driver license. :)

Post a Comment

Comments really make my day... so stop and say hi!!