By A.P. Crawford, Periodical Editor and Production Manager (

Alex MacDonald, Marilyn MacDonald and Luc Gagnon – North Border Zone

In February of this year, Luc Gagnon and Maryse Belanger were visiting with friends Alex and Marilyn MacDonald and enjoyed a dip in their hot tub. Maryse was the last to get out of the tub and while chatting around the table she suddenly looked strange. Her hand and mouth began to shake and when Marilyn asked if she was alright, she was unresponsive. 

As Maryse lost consciousness Luc and Alex helped her to the floor. Alex was not able to find a pulse and she was not breathing so he initiated CPR and Marilyn called emergency medical services (EMS). After three compressions Maryse made a loud noise and regained consciousness but was extremely weak, felt sick to her stomach, and was not responding properly. A possible heart attack was suspected and Aspirin was administered.

Maryse’s left arm and hand were extremely weak and tingling, and she had pain in the left side of her chest. Her blood pressure was also very low. While waiting for EMS she also complained of being hot, so Luc and Marilyn cooled her with wet towels, thinking it might possibly have been heat stroke from the hot tub, although she had never had any previous issues.

When EMS arrived and took a history, they also administered Aspirin which was repeated after Maryse vomited. They also did an ECG and transported her to hospital where she remained overnight and was subjected to numerous tests. She was weak for a number of days afterwards.

The attending physician confirmed that Alex, Marilyn and Luc had taken the correct actions and possibly saved her life. Maryse was recalled to the hospital for further tests and follow up after this incident.

For their quick actions, Alex MacDonald, Marilyn MacDonald and Luc Gagnon were awarded the John D. Harper Lifesaving Award. The full nomination for this award can be found on the national website.

Lifesaving Award

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