B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

A Princeton-area man is alive today, in part, because of Facebook.

Che Lapointe suffered a serious heart attack Friday, at an isolated property on Pike Mountain Forestry Service Road.

Cell service in the area is intermittent at best. His wife, Heather Balaam, was not able to get through to emergency services.

The couple had finished a morning’s worth of chores including plowing the driveway, filling a water container, and drilling a hole in the ice.

“I noticed he was very short of breath. By the time he made it back to the house he was feeling unwell,” said Balaam. “There was a pressure across his shoulders and chest accompanied by sharp pain. He called me upstairs where he was on the couch in distress. He said he thought he was having a heart attack.”

Balaam went online and Googled what she should do to treat Lapointe’s symptoms. “[I also went] to facebook and the Princeton page to find out where the hospital was located.”

She tried several times to call 911, but could not get a signal.

“All at once I realized that I should just go back to Facebook and someone would help me. I desperately typed in a ‘help’ message and saw some responses, and knew that someone was calling 911 for me.”

Balaam searched the home looking for Aspirin, but found none.

“I was able to contact one of the logging trucks by walkie talkie – he was close and had Aspirin. I put Che in the car and drove out to the Forestry Service Road where two logging trucks were waiting for us. They crushed up four aspirin and gave him water, and assured me that 911 had been contacted.”

The truckers escorted the couple down the road to Highway 5A, allowed Balaam to speak with a 911 operator, and waited with them for the ambulance.

“Che was getting worse, but he held on,” she said. “The ambulance attendants were wonderful – Amy and Bob. They rushed him to Merritt. I followed. He was taken by special ambulance to Kelowna, code red all the way. They took him immediately to the cardiac unit where a team of doctors operated.”

The right side of Lapointe’s heart was completely blocked, however he recovered quickly.

“So many people contributed to Che’s survival. So many strangers responded to my call for help. So many have sent encouragement.”

While she acknowledged their story is “uplifting.” She also said it is “a cautionary tale.”

Balaam said doctors attributed her husband’s heart attack to smoking, and ignoring warning signs like shortness of breath, aches, and a lack of stamina.

“And we had no aspirin – small inexpensive, easily obtained, but we had none.”

She recalled that twice in the past Lapointe played a role in saving another’s life.

“A fisherman with a severe injury, and a young boy laying beside the road,” she said. “What goes around comes around.”

READ MORE: Bad weather halts search for missing B.C. snowshoer until at least Wednesday

READ MORE: Penticton victim in Kamloops shooting may be a case of mistaken identity

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Aftershock soccer tournament takes over Port Hardy fields

Around the clock matches were played in divisions ranging from tots to U18.

Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre’s 2018-2019 graduating class

The Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre is located on the Tsulquate reserve in the North Island.

Skin deep: A look inside the ink behind Beacon Tattoo

Patrick Berube, owner of Beacon Tattoo, spends most of his Tuesdays at… Continue reading

Second recreational cannabis shop opens its doors in Port Hardy

Pacificanna owner Darren Saunders was excited to finally see his family-run business open up shop.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: A lone crow landing beside an eagle

“I saw an eagle just sitting there, but I had a feeling it wouldn’t be there long as I got closer”

VIDEO: Driver doing laps in busy Vancouver intersections nets charges

Toyota Camry spotted doing laps in intersection, driving towards pedestrians

Every situation is different, jurors hear at coroners inquest into Oak Bay teen’s overdose death

Pediatrician says involuntary treatment necessary following overdose, opioid use

Nanaimo man gets jail time for posting explicit photos of ex-girlfriends

Man’s name cannot be revealed to protect victims’ identities

North Island thrift store robbed at knifepoint, say RCMP

Suspect fled on bicycle following Tuesday stick-up

RCMP across Canada to soon unionize, according to B.C. mayor

A spokeswoman for RCMP headquarters in Ottawa says it’s not yet a done deal

Explicit sex-ed guide for adults mistakenly given to Creston elementary students

The booklet clearly states online and inside that the guide contains sexually explicit information

Driver has $240K McLaren impounded minutes after buying it in West Vancouver

Officers clocked the car travelling at 160 km/h along Highway 1 in a 90 km/h zone

UPDATE: RCMP arrest second person in North Island arson investigation

Police say suspects identified, house fire ‘not random’

Most Read