Former builder and Macleay Island resident, Graham Grant, is indeed a fortunate man.
In recent years Graham and his wife Enid decided to ‘make some new friends’ and join the Macleay Island Lions Club.
Through the club he also caught up with his boyhood friends Colin Scoble, John Andrews, and Stewart and Heather Sorby, all originally from Frankston in Victoria.
As an active Lions member, Graham was about helping out and was involved with a ‘pickup’ for a coming Lions garage sale.
At around 2pm on April 27, along with another Lion, Darrell Barnie, they were visiting a home in Orion Street, Macleay Island, when the 79-year-old Graham suddenly collapsed on the external stairway to the home.
He had suffered a massive heart attack.
He fell and tumbled down the stairs, bringing about a fair bit of bruising.
Were it not for his Lion ‘side-kick’ Darrell, the home owner, and the quick action of an island paramedic and the island volunteer Fire Brigade, Graham’s life would have ended then and there on the steps of an island home.
A quick call was made to 000, and the island first responder on duty that day, Cath Wilson, arrived within minutes along with three members of the island brigade.
Until they did, however, Darrell Barnie went into action.
Most Lions members are conversant with CPR and Darrell started pumping Graham’s chest.
The situation was so critical, that Care Flight was called bringing a helicopter and two pilots and and accompanying doctor.
Cath Wilson took over the CPR from Darrell, with the fire crew taking it in turns.
They later were full of praise for his initial outstanding efforts.
All the while from 2.10 pm until 4.50pm CPR work was carried out on Graham.
His wife, Enid, was informed and soon was on the scene.
Throughout the process it was touch and go for Graham Grant.
He stopped breathing several times and without the quality island medical treatment that was applied, his life would have ended on April 27.
Graham was not without history with his heart, having had bypass surgery several years previously.
It seems his heart valve was in a bad way, and that is now listed for replacement as soon as he is strong enough.
It was four days before he came to in the Princess Alexandria Hospital, and another three weeks before he as able to leave hospital and return to his President Terrace home to be with wife, Enid.
Both he and Enid are grateful to the island Lions Club, Darrell Barnie, the first responders, the island ‘firies’, Care Flight and the doctors and medical staff at the Brisbane hospital.
“I thank them all. They were absolutely marvellous.”
Enid is also ‘grateful’:
“They were just wonderful. Now I am on tenterhooks until such time as he is strong enough to have his heart valve replaced,” she told The Friendly Bay Islander.
The incident underlines the quality of medical care that is available on our islands in cases of emergency like this.
Quick action, responsible and highly efficient first responders and island ambulance crews and access to Care Flight, provide a service that is second-to-none.
Not only are Graham and Enid Grant truly thankful, so should we all be!
• Graham and Enid Grant at their President Terrace home.