City of Powell River councillor Chris McNaughton was back in action, via teleconference, at the City of Powell River council meeting on Thursday, January 16, after a four-month absence while he recovered in Vancouver from an almost fatal stroke suffered August 2013.
Councillor Debbie Dee, who was acting mayor for the meeting, officially proclaimed February as Heart and Stroke month in Powell River.
“The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada is a non-profit volunteer organization that helps to save the lives of many Canadians,” said Dee. “During the month of February, they rely upon the dedication of thousands of volunteers who selflessly give their time by canvassing their respective neighbourhoods for donations and to bring awareness to other Canadians. The foundation helps prevent and reduce death and disability resulting from heart disease.”
Founded in 1952, the foundation has provided more than $1 billion to heart and stroke research and is supported by a force of more than 130,000 volunteers across the country. “The foundation also aids in prevention through community programming and through the promotion of healthy living,” Dee said. “Healthy lifestyle habits and social awareness are a big part of the solution.”
McNaughton commended specialists at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) and Powell River General Hospital, where his recovery was attributed to leading-edge technology during his initial diagnosis. With the help of a live video conferencing feed, surgeons at VGH were able to communicate with surgeons in Powell River to prepare him for transport via air ambulance to Vancouver.
McNaughton said Dr. Philip Teal, clinical professor of neurology at the University of British Columbia and a neurologist at VGH, has been working with internist Dr. Blake Hoffert in Powell River, to implement real-time conferencing between the two hospitals. This conferencing allows the neurology team at VGH to have an accurate visual of patients and a real-time conversation with the resident doctor at the emergency ward in Powell River, before the patient is shipped out.
“This is important because time is of the essence when you have a stroke,” McNaughton said. “Dr. Teal has been coming to Powell River and working with Dr. Hoffert to put this technology in place. Both doctors did an amazing job.”