A fishing boat on the lake

Emergency Medical Transport in Remote Ontario

March 21, 2024

21 March, 2024


Red Lake, Ontario

| By: Par:

Sneha Tailor

While enjoying a fishing getaway with family and friends at an outpost camp fifty-five kilometers north of Red Lake, Ontario, Richard encountered a medical emergency.

A fishing boat on the lake

He began to feel unwell on a Sunday morning. Richard decided to take a walk to the dock, hoping the fresh air would help him feel better. Unfortunately, it didn't provide the relief he was seeking.

The “weight” on my chest was getting heavier, and I knew something was wrong.

Recognizing the severity of Richard’s health, they began to head towards Red Lake Margaret Cochenour Memorial Hospital. The journey involved both boat and truck travel, emphasizing the logistical challenges of medical access in remote areas.

All I remember is seeing the hospital sign and thinking thank god. By this time, it was quite evident I was having a heart attack and was in serious trouble.

In the hospital parking lot, Richard experienced cardiac arrest. First responders performed CPR to stabilize him and provide him with the necessary care that he needed. Within a two-hour window, an Ornge Air Ambulance was dispatched from Sioux Lookout to transport Richard to Thunder Bay Regional. This transport was crucial as Richard suffered from a “Widowmaker Heart Attack”.


Richard in the hospital

A “Widowmaker Heart Attack”, or myocardial infarction, occurs when there is a blockage in the biggest artery in your heart. The blood was unable to move through Richard’s left anterior descending (LAD) artery, which was completely blocked. The LAD provides almost fifty percent of your heart muscle’s blood supply. Richard was treated with a stent placement in the LAD and two days later underwent the procedure for his right coronary artery (RCA).
Richard's artery blockage

If it weren’t for the dedicated medical team at Ornge, as well as the team in Red Lake, I wouldn’t be here today.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Richard’s story highlights the critical importance of efficient emergency medical transport in remote regions and the vital impact it has on individuals facing life-threatening situations.
We would like to acknowledge the exceptional efforts of the paramedics, Adam and Terri, and pilots Tyler and Gerald, who were part of Richard’s transport team.


Have you or a loved one been transported by Ornge? Sharing your story helps raise awareness about safety and offers other patients some insight into experiences they may be facing. Share your story today!


Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.
 Security code