No ordinary walk in the park for a cardiac nurse, patient and cardiologist

June 30, 2017 |

The sequence of improbable events that unfolded on May 11 at an off-leash dog park in Etobicoke and culminated at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (PMCC), remain remarkable to the patient, nurse, and doctor involved.

It’s a narrative that is best told in their own words.

Sylvia Wood, cardiac nurse in the coronary intensive care unit, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, describes “going into nurse mode” upon seeing a man in distress while off-duty and walking her dogs in an Etobicoke dog park. She recounts in breathless, explicit palpable detail the fateful evening she met Ivan de Souza. “I was talking to another person in the park who saw a man face down not moving on the ground. He said ‘oh my gosh’, so I turned to look. When I saw him and the way he was face first in the dirt, I knew it was bad. I ran over, and as I rolled him over and he was non-responsive so I asked the man with me to call 911. He was pulseless, so I started CPR.”

Ivan de Souza suffered his second heart attack almost 26 years to the date of the first. de Souza went into cardiac arrest while out for an evening walk with his poodles Ellie and Manon, at a park near his Toronto home.

No one could have predicted this tremendous outcome given the severity of the events that unfolded. Thanks to Sylvia, Dr. Mary Jane Esplen, Dr. Floras and Dr. Overgaard, and the amazing team at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, Ivan is at home with his dogs today.

Read more in the UHN News Story