Brad Lanz wasn’t feeling well as he laced up his skates for a hockey game in December 2016.
He played anyway, trying to brush it off as something minor. But as he hung out with his teammates after the game, Brad, a nurse, knew something was wrong. He was sweating, more than normal following an activity like hockey, and he couldn’t shake a feeling of “impending doom.”
“I went to get some fresh air and I could tell something was off,” Brad remembers. “I thought, ‘Pasqua Hospital is close by. I’ll drive myself over, get checked out and go back to hanging out with the boys.’”
But Brad’s heart had other plans. Mere seconds after he parked outside the emergency room, Brad’s heart stopped and he collapsed. He recalls being in and out of consciousness as medical staff shocked his heart nine times. Brad admits he didn’t think he’d survive, telling staff working tirelessly to save his life that he was an organ donor.
“The next thing I knew, I woke up in the Cardiac Care Unit at Regina General Hospital,” Brad explains. “I was pretty emotional after I woke up because I didn’t know what happened. I’m still trying to figure out why it happened to me.
“I’m so thankful to be alive every day and so thankful for the care that I got. My heart attack was an incident that woke me up.
Brad is waiting for genetic testing to hopefully determine why his heart stopped, considering he’s an active man in his early thirties who doesn’t smoke. He now faces a 17 per cent chance of another cardiac incident, but that hasn’t stopped him from getting back on the ice.
“I just wanted to get back to normal life as soon as possible,” Brad says. “I’m so thankful to be alive every day and so thankful for the care that I got. My heart attack was an incident that woke me up.”
“When someone in our community experiences a cardiac event like Brad did, the Cardiac Care Unit at Regina’s Mosaic Heart Centre plays a critical role,” says Dino Sophocleous, president and CEO, Hospitals of Regina Foundation. “One in five visits to Regina’s emergencies is cardiac related. It is important we continue to invest in the life-saving technology that provides treatment to patients, right here at home.”
While Brad chooses not to dwell over his heart attack, he makes sure to give back to the hospitals that saved his life. He now participates in the annual Cardiac Care 5K Walk/Run, a fundraiser for the Cardiac Care Unit organized by the unit’s dedicated nurses, and an event now close to his heart.