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Husband and wife part of 'chain of survival'

A unique Vital Link award presentation was held recently in northwest BC that saw both a husband and wife from Terrace honoured for saving each other’s lives through the use of CPR.
Paramedic Scott Peden; district manager Mike Sorenson; award recipients Barrie and Diana Stephen; unit chief Cheryl Spencer
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​A group photo following the presentation of two Vital Link Awards at the Terrace Station. Shown are (l to r): paramedic Scott Peden; NW PCD district manager Mike Sorenson; award recipients Barrie Stephen and Diana Stephen; Terrace unit chief Cheryl Spencer.

Barrie and Diana Stephen were on hand late last month to accept their respective awards during a ceremony at Terrace Station 645. The awards were presented on behalf of BCEHS by Mike Sorensen, Patient Care Delivery Northwest District Manager.

“As emergency medical professionals, we can attest that Barrie and Diana were a very strong ‘chain of survival’ for one another. You did the right thing, at the right time and gave each other the greatest chance for survival,” said Mike.

In 2011, Barrie Stephen awoke to find his wife beside him in bed and in obvious trouble. He pulled Diana to the floor and immediately began CPR. He relied on his military training he’d received decades earlier. Diana subsequently received hospital care and fully recovered.

Almost four years later, similar circumstances thrust Diana into the role of live-saver for her husband. Barrie experienced a cardiac event at their rural home.

Diana called 9-1-1 and followed the instructions of the call-taker in performing CPR until paramedics arrived. Barrie’s outcome has been excellent and it’s said that he continues to maintain the property as meticulously as he did prior to the incident.

BCEHS’ Vital Link Awards are presented to honour the skillful actions of one or more bystanders at a cardiac emergency. Recipients are given a medal of recognition set in a wood-finished display box inscribed with the recipient’s name and the date of the incident.

Both the Vital LInk and Good Samaritan awards programs provide BCEHS front-line employees with official ways to thank a bystander at the scene of an incident who, in their eyes, has helped to save a life.

award; BC Ambulance Service; BCEHS; emergency response; recognition; heart conditions; Patient story; CPR
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