That was about the time it took to get Stephen Blais’ heart to start again.
“It does amaze you that they would work on you for that long and they would have such faith they could bring you back, that they would put that much effort into it,” says Blais from his room at the Ottawa Heart Institute.
Blais suffered a massive cardiac arrest after working out at an East-Ottawa gym on January 7. He says a doctor from the Montfort hospital performed CPR on him for over an hour to save his life.
The Ottawa councillor would wake up days later after being in an induced coma.
‘You wake up and I had a respirator in and I couldn't breathe and I was physically not able to move a whole lot. So it was a little confusing. But my… my wife and mom were there,” he says.
Blais who was only recently released from the intensive care unit suffered several set-backs including a serious case of pneumonia.
Still, Blais fought hard towards better health. The biggest reward: seeing his three-year-old son Stephen Jr.
“I hadn't seen him in over a month. He changed so much. He's at the age where they exponentially change every day. His vocabulary had tripled, speaking in full sentences, it was just an absolutely amazing,” says Blais of the reunion.
Blais gives credit to his family, the staff at the heart institute and the community for his ongoing recovery.
Today, he is waiting to be moved to a rehabilitation centre where he will work to regain muscle mass in his body after being confined to bed for months.
Still, Blais says he already has an eye on the work that needs to be done at City Hall.
“I'm doing a little bit of work. I wouldn't admit this to my doctors, but I've talked to my staff about some planning files some little local issues that have popped up.”
With a report from CTV’s John Hua