A Twillingate man says he’d be dead were it not for a defibrillator that he arranged to have installed at the local arena.
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Dave Stuckey was playing recreational hockey at the George Hawkins Memorial Arena earlier this month when he experienced chest pains.
Two doctors on his team advised him to go to the hospital, and one of them left to get his truck so he could drive Stuckey there.
While Stuckey was waiting for the doctor to return, he went to the washroom where he passed out.
Stuckey said he later found out his heart had stopped for 10 to 15 minutes.
“I was totally dead. There was no pulse,” he said.
He was also told his hockey buddies and the doctors sprung into action.
“Someone went and got it [the defibrillator] for the doctors,” Stuckey continued. “Two of the players there was doing CPR before the doctor got back. So they proceeded with the CPR and they got the defib all hooked up and started shocking me. I was shocked six times.”
Stuckey only regained consciousness a couple of hours later, in an ambulance on the way to Gander. He was then airlifted to St. John’s, where doctors put a stent in his blocked artery.
In a twist of fate, Stuckey, who also happens to be the Twillingate arena’s manager, said he arranged for the defibrillator to be installed about two-and-a-half years ago.
“I got a call from Heart and Stroke. They were at the time doing this, putting defibs into areas. They contacted me, I presented it to the town, and from there we got it.”
“Jokingly, when we put the defib in there, I went to the town manager and I said, ‘I’ll probably be the first one that it has to be used on,’ just as a joke,” said Stuckey. “But it was me that it had to be used on.”
Government funded project
Stuckey, who turns 50 next week, said he feels like he got a second chance at life.
He believes defibrillators should be installed in all public buildings.
“You don’t pick a place to have a heart attack, right?” said Stuckey. ”’I can’t have one [a heart attack] here because there’s no defib,’ you know what I mean?”