On Nov. 30 at 9:30 a.m. I wished my wife, Kellee, and our son, Colton,15, a good day as they left to catch the ferry. Ten minutes later I lay unconscious on the floor as my 17-year-old son, Catch, tried to revive me.
I regained consciousness however I was barely able to breathe on my own. It was as though I was drowning. I needed oxygen and my lungs were no longer functioning effectively.
Catch reached his mother via FaceTime. She frantically made calls from the already departed ferry. She called both our oldest son, Chance, who was working at the General Store, and our neighbours, Nancy and Bob. Brian who owns the General Store quickly drove Chance to our home and graciously stood by and offered transport to the hospital. Nancy and Bob had arrived moments before and stood by as Chance called 911 for an ambulance. Fortunately for me, Bob was a retired first responder and recently retired from the Bowen Island Fire Department. His expertise and quick arrival was undoubtedly a factor in saving my life. Due to my breathing condition though I was unable to be taken to the hospital without being fed oxygen, which required an ambulance for transport. The ambulance however was already called so it took a significant amount of time before they could reach me. Bob and BIFD stayed with me until the ambulance’s arrival.
My point of this letter is to let everyone know how special the Bowen Island community is and during a time of crisis how our community rose up to save a neighbour’s life, this time my own. I wish to give thanks to the following people who made the wait for the ambulance’s arrival possible.
Bowen Island Fire Department: Aaron Hanen, Steve Harding, Eric Michner, Tyler Jacquet, Ian Thompson and Bob Robinson
And a special thanks to both Nancy Lee and Brian Park for showing us the meaning of a selfless community.
Upon arrival at Lions Gate Hospital, my emergency diagnosis was hypoxemic respiratory failure and I was very blue and cold due to my extremities being shut down. I was well cared for during my one-week stay and had dedicated nurses around the clock exclusive to my recovery. However, during my time there in isolation, I had time to reflect upon what matters most in life. Family and by extension, community, is what tearfully came to mind.
With immense gratitude,
Darren & the Fehst Family