Hospital News celebrates nurses

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In honour of National Nursing Week, Hospital News will be posting nursing hero nominations

Honourable Mention:

Rich Schregardus RN, Emergency Department,  Markham Stouffville Hospital

When most of us think of a nurse going above and beyond, we imagine them in the middle of a chaotic emergency department, or in a stressful operating room, or maybe even sitting next to a patient’s bed comforting them.

I had the opportunity to witness someone going above and beyond at the side of the road as I stood by and watched a nurse save my son’s life.

Last summer, I was driving home with my toddler Jack, who was one and a half years old.  We were just around the corner from our house when I looked in the mirror and noticed he was having a seizure.

I frantically moved through traffic, looking for a safe place to pull over. Instinctually, I pulled Jack out of his seat and tried to get him to a safe place to lay down.  Panic was starting to set in for me.

A motorist in the car directly behind me had pulled over to see if I needed any assistance.

Rich Schregardus is an emergency room nurse at Markham Stouffville Hospital who I think was on his way home from his shift at the hospital

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Taking one look at me and one look at my son, Rich clearly knew the situation was very serious and told me to call 911 as he assessed Jack.  Within minutes, Jack had stopped breathing and Rich began performing CPR on my baby.

I watched in absolute terror as Rich methodically breathed into Jack’s mouth and performed chest compressions.  In that moment, all of his training and thinking was going towards saving my son.

Although it felt like an eternity, Rich was able to quickly resuscitate Jack and very shortly after that police, fire and ambulance arrived.

Rich interacted with the other medical personnel and relayed critical information about the situation and Jack’s vitals.  It was like he was in the middle of his familiar environment in the emergency department caring for a patient, except we were at the side of the road as traffic whizzed by.

Jack was taken to the hospital by ambulance and Rich continued on his way home.

It was an extraordinary few moments when our lives intersected.

On what should have been a very ordinary day, I was blessed that someone like Rich crossed paths with me and my son and that he was a nurse.  And more importantly, he was a nurse who cared enough to stop and save my son’s life.

Nominated by: Karen Matthews