A family crisis at Christmas has turned into a new year’s celebration of sorts for Rick and Lynn Frey of Campbell River.
On Dec. 23, Rick had just come into the house to take a break from yard work when a visiting friend alerted him to his wife’s collapse.
Having taken a first aid course for his job as a commercial fisherman, Rick drew upon that knowledge and started cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on Lynn who had suffered a major heart attack.
“I don’t know how I did it, but I just did what needed to be done. I just knew I couldn’t lose her,” said Rick. “I should probably do another course, as it has been years since I took one.”
Lynn continues to recover, and on Thursday, hubby Rick was honoured by the BC Ambulance Service for his wife-saving effort.
“Taking the time to learn CPR can save lives,” said Minister of Health Margaret MacDiarmid. “Congratulations…Thanks to your quick-thinking actions you will be able to celebrate a very special Valentine’s Day with your loved ones.”
During a presentation at the ambulance station on 2nd Avenue, Rick was presented with a Vital Link award. The ambulance service presents the award to recognize members of the public who save a life and to raise awareness of the importance of CPR.
A cardiac arrest victim is four times more likely to survive if they receive CPR from a bystander. However, in approximately 85 per cent of all cardiac arrest cases, this basic procedure is not performed.
B.C. ambulance paramedics attend 2,400-2,800 cardiac arrest calls each year. Fewer than 12 per cent of people who have a cardiac arrest survive.
The Freys are well known in Campbell River. Rick’s daughter Marine Frey was one of victims of mass murderer Robert Picton and Lynn worked tirelessly to help find her missing step daughter.