Devin Gerun wastes no time getting to the heart of the matter.
“I’m pretty lucky to be alive,” says Devin, 27, while reflecting on the cause of his abrupt departure from the ice during a hockey playoff game in Leroy on February 19.
Devin, a forward with the Edam/Hafford combined provincial hockey team, began experiencing a burning sensation in his chest during the first period, a feeling he had never before felt during a game or while working out. It got worse as the game went on. Then in overtime, Devin felt like he was going to pass out. He got off the ice and told his coach he was having chest pain and couldn’t breathe. The coach phoned 911 for assistance.
Fortunately, local emergency medical technicians were present and decided to take Devin to the hospital in Humboldt for further assessment. It was there that his condition worsened, and he suffered a heart attack. Devin received clot-busting medication, was stabilized and transferred to Royal University Hospital.
At RUH, Devin received life-saving treatment in the cardiac catheterization lab (cath lab) that included insertion of a stent delivered through a catheter and permanently embedded in his heart by a team led by cardiologist Dr. Jason Orvold.
“That evening could have ended so much differently were it not for the actions of so many people in Leroy, Humboldt and at Royal University Hospital,” says Devin. “I am so grateful to everyone who assisted in saving my life.”
Devin was discharged from RUH on March 2. During a follow-up medical appointment in June, the Saskatoon-based civil engineering technologist was told that his rehab was going well and that he could return to work full-time in the office and could be back doing on-site inspections and other fieldwork by late September pending any setbacks. He was also incredibly pleased to have permission to be able to golf and play slow-pitch during the summer.
However, a return to competitive hockey is still on the back burner and, for now, the goal is to ease back into recreational hockey
later this winter.
“I’m just so extremely grateful to be alive today and able to see the smiles on my family’s faces when I walk through the door knowing that I am getting back to my normal self.”
His message to others: Heart attacks can happen to anyone at any age. If you aren’t feeling right, listen to your body and if you think you need medical help, please visit your doctor or hospital.
RUH Foundation is grateful for our donors who have given so generously to support cardiac care and patients like Devin. This year, the Foundation is committed to this specialized area of care. Funds raised will support the purchase of a new and muchneeded cath lab where doctors perform minimally invasive tests and advanced cardiac procedures during a heart attack or to prevent one from happening. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Tricia Haugen at 306.655.6456 or firstname.lastname@example.org.