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Victoria trio recognized for saving friend’s life after sudden cardiac arrest

Three receive Vital Link Award for life-saving emergency medical response
Martin Ouellet (left, front), Sonya Marchand, Scott Rose, Jennifer, Jen Bolster (left, back), Nicolas D’Anjou and Chris Millar attend the BC Emergency Health Services’ Vital Link Award presentation on Sunday (Jan. 15) afternoon. (Austin Westphal/News Staff)

When Nicolas D’Anjou suddenly collapsed while sitting in a Greater Victoria pub three years ago, his air force colleagues quickly leapt into action.

On Sunday (Jan. 15) afternoon, Martin Ouellet, Sonya Marchand and Scott Rose were each honoured with the Vital Link Award from BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) for efforts which ultimately saved their friend’s life.

“To still be alive today because of that is just fantastic,” D’Anjou said tearfully.

The group of four had been out at a restaurant in Esquimalt in January 2020 when D’Anjou suddenly stopped with a “blank look” on his face before collapsing to the floor. Ouellet, Marchand and Rose promptly responded.

After feeling D’Anjou had no pulse, Ouellet dialled 911 and had Marchand take over the phone while he and Rose performed CPR until paramedics arrived. D’Anjou was confirmed to be in cardiac arrest.

“During his cardiac arrest, D’Anjou needed to be sedated because he had purposeful movement despite not having a pulse, which speaks to the high-quality CPR he was receiving,” said Chris Millar, BCEHS Station 140 acting unit chief.

“If more people were brave and willing to step up in situations – like these three individuals did – death and serious life-long effects caused by cardiac arrest could drop significantly,” he added.

D’Anjou was transported to Royal Jubilee Hospital where he was released just 24 hours later.

“I’m still having a hard time recovering. I’m still having a hard time psychologically,” D’Anjou said. “But physically, I’m in great shape … even if I can’t do the things I used to be able to do.”

The Vital Link Award is awarded to citizens who are involved in saving a life through successful cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) efforts.

According to BCEHS, more than 45,000 Canadians experience sudden, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest per year.

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Austin Westphal

About the Author: Austin Westphal

Austin Westphal is the newest member to join the Saanich News team.
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