Lifesaving Award – Yanick Bonhomme, Benoit Vachon, Normand Jean, Lucie Ouellette (non-patroller) – Laurentian Zone

Yanick Bonhomme, Benoit Vachon, Normand Jean and Jean’s spouse Lucie Oullette were camping at Camping Lamèque on Lamèque Island in New Brunswick in August, 2019. In the late afternoon a man appeared at their site looking for a phone to call 911, as his wife was unwell and he believed she was having a heart attack.

When the group arrived at the site, a 59-year old female was lying on the ground, conscious and complaining of a sharp chest pain that had appeared a few minutes earlier. Although her breathing was normal and pulse strong, the pain continued to intensify. She said she did not have any medical history. By then 911 had been contacted; but there was no oxygen or an AED nearby.

The patient’s condition deteriorated rapidly, with her breathing becoming shallow and noisy. She lost consciousness and went into convulsions with foam coming from her mouth, so they placed her in a semi-prone position, keeping the airway open. Once the convulsions had stopped they realized that the patient was no longer breathing and there was no carotid pulse, and so they started CPR.

Resuscitation was continued for seven minutes and a weak pulse was detected just before EMS arrived which took over care and confirmed that the patient had a pulse, and 92-per-cent oxygen saturation. She was transported to the regional hospital in Tracadie-Sheila, New Brunswick.

The next morning the group received a text from the patient’s husband who informed them that she had been transferred to Saint John Regional Hospital where she underwent major heart surgery and was expected to be able to resume a fairly normal life.

The patient, her husband and all of the medical authorities have confirmed that without the well-coordinated intervention of Yanick, Benoit, Normand and Lucie, in all probability the patient would not have survived.

In recognition of the work of Yanick Bonhomme, Benoit Vachon, Normand Jean, Lucie Ouellette (non-patroller), they were presented with the John D. Harper Lifesaving Award in 2020.

(l-r) Lucie Oullet, Norman Jean, Guylaine Pépin (patient), Marc Pépin (spouse), Benoit Vachon, Yannick Bonhomme (photo provided by Laurentian Zone)