Kate and Wally posing outside after Wally recovered.

Island Health Patient Registration Representative Wally Garland was working in the Emergency Department (ED) one evening when Kate Scherer, ED Charge Nurse, noticed Wally didn’t look well and said, “Get in this wheelchair right now. Something isn’t right.” Wally declined and said he was fine, brushing off his symptoms. Wally was white as a sheet at this point, and his lips turned blue. Never the less, Kate persisted and got Wally in the wheelchair. She took him back to check his vitals. He was found to be in the middle of a heart attack.

Our Emergency Department team acted quickly and transferred Wally to Seattle, where he had surgery.  Wally returned to work three weeks later.

Wally said without Kate’s intervention, he would have worked the rest of his shift and driven home. Kate’s intuition, care and concern for her co-worker helped save his life that night. Kate said that the tight bond between work teams allowed her to see that something wasn’t right and take action. Thank you for living the CARES values of compassion and accountability, Kate!

Do you know the signs of a heart attack? If you or someone you know is experiencing the following symptoms, call 911 immediately.

  • Chest discomfort
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body such as both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
  • Other signs including but not limited to:
    • Breaking out in a cold sweat
    • Nausea
    • Lightheadedness

Island Health Emergency Department is open 24/7. For more information reach out to your primary care provider.

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Published on February 6, 2024