9 a.m., March 8)
Blais discusses surviving heart attack in CTV interview
By Fred Sherwin
Cumberland Coun. Stephen Blais gave his first
interview on Thursday in which he discussed
his heart attack and the long road to recovery.
Coun. Stephen Blais' heart attack was caused by a 90 per
cent blockage in an artery in his heart that was a 'ticking
time bomb'. He owes his life to a Montfort Hospital doctor
who managed to revive him after his heart had stopped
beating for more than an hour.
Shamu performed CPR for somewhere between an hour and
an hour and a half. He saved my life so I owe everything
to him," Blais said in an interview with CJOH on
does amaze me that they would work on me for that long,
they would have such faith that they could bring me back
and that they would put that much effort into it."
the nearly eight minute interview, Blais spoke haltingly
and wiped tears from his eyes while recounting his ordeal,
the actions of medical staff at both the Montfort Hospital
and the Ottawa Heart Institute, and the support of his
family, especially his wife Marta who has been by his
side through the whole ordeal.
suffered a heart attack while working out at the Goodlife
Fitness Centre in Place d'Orléans on Jan. 3.
be honest I don't remember much, if anything from that
day. My last real memory was watching the football game
the day before with my son," said Blais.
had my workout with my trainer. I had been working out
with her for about six months or so. I went and changed
and showered and on my way out I sat down for some reason,
obviously I started to feel the effects of what was about
to happen, and when I sat down I had a heart attack and
my trainer started to perform CPR on me."
being rushed to the Montfort Hospital where his heart
was revived and his condition stabilized, Blais was transferred
to the Ottawa Heart Institute where he was placed in a
medically induced coma for 48 hours.
he finally regained consciousness, the first people he
saw were his wife Marta and his mother.
had a respiratory in, so I couldn't breath. I was physically
not able to move a whole lot. It was a little confusing,
but my wife and my mother were there," Blais said.
"The first couple of weeks were very tough because
I was on a ventilator and I couldn't talk."
the weeks and days leading up to the heart attack, Blais
says he was feeling great. He was eating better and had
been working out at the Goodlife Fitness Centre with a
personal trainer for nearly five months.
was feeling good otherwise," explained Blais. "This
was not something there were signs leading up to and in
talking to the doctors they believe it's a genetic issue
and not a lifestyle issue. I had an artery in my heart
that was very blocked and as a result my heart stopped
overcoming a bout of pneumonia, he got to see his three-year-old
son Stephen Jr. for the first time in nearly a month.
He owes his life to the doctors and staff at the Montfort
Hospital and the Ottawa Heart Institute.
so fortunate to have the Heart Institute here in Ottawa.
Everyone says that and you hear it all the time, but sometimes
you don't realize it until you have to experience it yourself,"
said Blais, whose family has been a huge support as well.
have an absolutely amazing family. My father has been
watching my son so my wife could be here every day. Other
family members helping out around the house so really
my family support has been amazing."
the highlights of Blais' recovery so far -- seeing his
son for the first time and having his first sip of water.
first sip of water was like an oasis in the desert. It
was great," said Blais.
Cumberland councillor has just begun the road back to
a full recovery after being in bed for two months.
been in bed for two months so I have some physical rehab
to do in terms of gaining strength in my muscle,"
said Blais. Then there's the ongoing process I'm going
to have to do for the rest of my life because of the heart
suffering a heart attack and nearly dying, Blais is looking
forward to getting back to work. In fact, he's in constant
communication with his office staff at city hall.
done a little bit of work. I've talked to my staff about
some files. But we're going to be getting back up and
at 'em very shortly," said Blais who has been blown
away by the level of support he's received from the community.
can't believe how many cards, how e-mails I've received
from constituents, from people I know, and from absolute
complete strangers. It's been very, very heartwarming
friends. My office was overblown with the amount of correspondence
they received. So the community support has been phenomenal,"
can see the entire interview at http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
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