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

No parole for 12 years for Burns Lake man convicted of second degree murder

Judge said he did not believe Albert Giesbrecht’s claim his gun discharged accidentally

No parole for Giesbrecht until 2031

Justice David Crossin said he did not believe Giesbrecht’s claim his firearm discharged accidentally

Lakes District Community choir performs

The Lakes District Community Choir presented its annual Christmas Concert on Dec.… Continue reading

Happy 100th Birthday Helen

Helen Hiebert celebrated her 100th birthday. On Dec. 6 there was an… Continue reading

Practice makes perfect

Girls hockey players hold a practice in the Tom Forsyth Arena in… Continue reading

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by pellet gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Feds urge Air Canada to fix booking problems as travel season approaches

The airline introduced the new reservation system more than three weeks ago

Almost 14,000 Canadians killed by opioids since 2016: new national study

17,000 people have been hospitalized for opioid-related poisoning

Most Read