It’s been more than two months since James and Mara Dillon have gone on one of their long weekly walks around their Gordon Head neighbourhood. And, thanks to a group of good samaritans who came to James’ aid in January, the couple will be able to take that walk again soon.
James, 68, suffered a massive heart attack on Jan. 3 while out with his wife on Tyndall Avenue at San Juan Avenue. Immediately, half a dozen passersby came to his rescue.
“Because of my job, it’s just first nature to do that,” said Michael Boutelier Sr. a retired firefighter from Halifax who administered CPR on the senior. “When you see somebody in need, you just do what you can to help them.”
Boutelier and his son, Michael Jr., both have CPR training and helped resuscitate James and keep him breathing until paramedics could arrive.
“While my dad was doing compressions, I just watched the airway, made sure the gentleman was comfortable,” Michael Jr. said. “We were quite scared that it looked like he wasn’t going to be breathing. After a minute of compressions he started to breathe, which was fantastic.”
The Bouteliers, along with Ross King and Julie Schroeder were honoured Tuesday by the Saanich Police Department for their efforts in saving Dillon’s life. Also honoured, but not in attendance, were Andrew Faunt and Laura Sinclair.
“Mr. and Mrs. Dillon were absolute fortunate this group of citizens were there, and were able to do what they did because they knew what steps had to be taken to save a life,” said Saanich police Chief Mike Chadwick. “Because they knew what to do, and their willingness to help someone in distress, Mr. Dillon is here with us today.”
Dillion spent almost a month in hospital and is recovering quickly. He says he owes his life to the six people who came to his rescue that day.
“I was lucky they were there, otherwise I would’ve been gone,” he said.
Chadwick and Mayor Frank Leonard presented the honourees with certificates recognizing their actions.
“Thank you for making the decision to get involved,” Chadwick said. “And thank you for saving a life.”