Gary considers himself one of the luckiest persons in the world. On February 1, 2017, Gary started his curling game at the North Grenville Curling Club at 6:30 pm. Fifteen minutes into the game, it was his turn to deliver the stone. As he was about to throw the curling stone, he felt an acute intense pain in his abdomen. He describes the pain as if a sword was going through him, and then collapsed onto the ice. By chance there was a retired physician nearby. He suspected Gary had suffered a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Gary was rushed to the Kemptville Hospital and then transferred to the Civic Campus of the Ottawa Hospital, where a team of specialists was on hand to operate on him. The surgery took almost six hours and required 20 units of blood. While recuperating from the surgery over the next three weeks, he required an additional two more units.

Gary is appreciative for the quick action of all his fellow curlers and the attention of the medical teams at both hospitals. But especially for the lifesaving gifts of blood he received. Gary says: “I am lucky that I can see sunrises, can hug my wife, see my grandchildren getting older and get back to curling”.

If blood was not available for Gary, he would not be sharing his story today. A constant and reliable inventory of blood must be available at hospitals for emergencies. Gary said: “Your donation could mean the gift of life”. Be part of Canada’s Lifeline.

The next Blood Donor Event is on December 2 at the W.B.George Centre in the Kemptville Campus, 48 Shearer St., from 1:30 pm till 4 pm and from 5:30 pm till 8 pm. To make an appointment, go to blood.ca

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