Patient Stories

World Class Cardiac Care Gives Jos Risling A New Lease on Life

World Class Cardiac Care

March 23, 2019 is a date Jos Risling will always remember. It’s the day he nearly died. But it’s also the day that he gained an appreciation for the incredible quality of cardiac care available in Regina’s hospitals.
The 47-year-old principal at Wawota Parkland School in southeast Saskatchewan is married with two young boys and leads an active lifestyle, including lacing up his skates for weekly hockey games.
“I certainly wasn’t in a high-risk category for heart disease,” Jos states. “So, when I started having chest pains a few days earlier, I ignored them. Then, on March 23 I tried to play hockey and ended up having a full-blown STEMI (a heart attack involving a blockage of one of the major arteries to the heart).”
Jos’ wife rushed him to the hospital in Arcola, where his condition was stabilized but still critical.  The ambulance team from Arcola loaded Jos into the ambulance for his trip to Regina, but his condition was so serious that the specialized Cardiac Ambulance was dispatched from Regina and Jos was transferred between ambulances on the side of the highway.   
Within a half hour of arriving in the Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) at the Mosaic Heart Centre, Jos was in surgery having two stents inserted to open up the blocked blood vessels. Two more stents were inserted two days later. Five days after that, he was discharged and returned home to Kenosee Park to recuperate. He certainly didn’t waste any time looking for ways to express his gratitude for the life-saving care he received.
“Within two days I was on the Hospitals of Regina Foundation website,” Jos reveals. “I wanted to send in a donation, to make sure other people receive the same support I did.”
Jos also took part in the annual CCU fundraising walk/run in support of the Foundation in May, where he spoke about his experience. He continues to speak to groups, advising people to have their cholesterol checked regularly. It’s believed high cholesterol was the major contributing factor to Jos’ heart issues.
“People have joked about it, but I can tell you from first-hand experience it’s true,” Jos confides. “If you’re going to have a heart attack - and hopefully you aren’t - but if you are, make sure you have it in Regina! If it wasn’t for the amazing care and support that I received at the Mosaic Heart Centre, I wouldn’t be here today.”
“Stories like Jos’ demonstrate the importance of supporting world-class cardiac care for the people of southern Saskatchewan,” says Dino Sophocleous, president and CEO, Hospitals of Regina Foundation. “Thanks to the generous support of our donors and partners like Mosaic, the Foundation will ensure this level of care is available right here at home, when people need it most.”
  • World Class Cardiac Care Gives Jos Risling A New Lease on Life
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