[This was written April, 2017.]
"My name is Vincent Bitusus, I am 38 years old.
On Saturday December 3, 2016, the Filipino Basketball League had their season opener tournament at Holy Cross High School. At 2 pm my team played their first game. I am a forward on the team. Three minutes into the game, I was looking for my opponent and my vision started to turn blurry, that is the last thing I remember.
My friends have told me what happened after my last memory. I collapsed on the court and turned blue, my body went rigid, I was foaming at the mouth and my eyes rolled back in my head. Thankfully there were many spectators at the tournament and some of them were trained in 1st aid and CPR as well as AED. Three people assessed my condition, I was not breathing and had no pulse. They started CPR, and did four rounds of breaths and compressions but they could not revive me. The lady leading the rescuers was an off duty nurse, and she called for an AED, thankfully the school had one. They hooked up the AED and the machine instructed them to administer a shock and then another. After the second shock, people said my color came back and I opened my eyes and I began to question what had happened.
An ambulance had been called and Paramedics arrived after I woke up. I was transported to RUH and after four days and many tests, an angiogram found that my main coronary artery was 99% blocked. A stent was put into my heart and the recovery process began.
Thank God for AEDs they saved my life."
[This is written August 2nd, 2014.]
"Canada Day started out like many other vacations spent in the city, with me volunteering an hour at a community booth. I was a bike valet from 11:00 a.m. to noon, watching peoples’ bikes for them. Soon after noon I rode off to find a few minutes of adventure before planning to return home to my girlfriend’s, where we were taking the kids over to a local park to meet another friend and her kids at 1:30.
I found the SaskPower propaganda booth with a game. It was a stationary bike where you could see how much power you could produce on it.
And that’s one way that SaskPower has tried to kill me ;-). As I finished at the top of the leaderboard, and biked off into the distance, I soon was collapsed on a bench near the band stand in Wascana Park. A crowd gathered, and two police officers came up to find me without a pulse and my bike helmet still on. They began CPR and called for a pair of EMTs on bikes who were on the other side of the park.
The EMTs arrived about 10 minutes later and after shocking me twice, my heart was beating again. About 40 minutes and a $325 ambulance ride later, I was in the Emergency Room of the General Hospital. I was scoring a 5 out of 15 on the Glasgow Coma scale in some regard, 8 in others. A 5 can mean that I could need to be tube fed, while 15 would be normal. So I was put onto a cooling blanket and given an immobilizing drug to cool my body down to just 32 degrees Celsius.
My first-hand memories from the next three or four days are few and I barely recognize them as my own experience. A tube coming out of my body that wasn’t there when I woke up and started remembering is one clue. In my defence, I was sedated and intubated for the first two days. Pretty extreme considering I’d not spent a night in hospital since I was born.
I then had an MRI, and various radiating scans on my head and elsewhere to check I was all there. In the coming days I managed to impress the professionals enough for them to let me out in the wild again (but not after tagging me first).
And here I am. Alive. Surprised that I died, and came back to life. Thankful for another chance, whatever that means."