Tim Delesalle’s Story

Tim Delesalle was a healthy, active 57 years when he had an acute heart attack in May 2010. He had just returned from a run, when he collapsed at home. His wife Karen and her two daughters were at home and immediately administered CPR. Within minutes, paramedics were on their way.

“The care was immediate and unconditional.”

An electrocardiogram was done at the scene and this alerted the RCH’s catheterization lab to prepare for an emergency cardiac angioplasty. Despite his rapid transfer to RCH, Tim was in full cardiogenic shock on arrival, his heart unable to supply enough blood to his organs.

With the family anxiously waiting, the catheterization lab team, led by Dr. Dorval, stabilized the heart with an intra-aortic balloon pump and then performed an angiogram, through which they found that one of the coronary arteries was completely blocked. Dr. Dorval was able to quickly open the artery with a balloon and stents (angioplasty), restoring blood flow to the heart muscle. With the blood flow restored, Tim began to improve and within days, the intra-aortic balloon assist was removed.

Tim spent 4 days in ICU and was then transferred to a recovery ward before being discharged. Today, Tim’s heart has fully recovered and life has returned to normal.

“It is the best reward a hospital and the entire team of doctors and nurses can have, when a patient does so well after such a dramatic presentation,” says Dr. Dorval

Tim himself says that “since being discharged from my stay at RCH, I have been overwhelmed to learn the number of people who touched my life throughout my event and recovery, starting with my wife Karen and family and my new RCH family of staff, technicians, nurses, interns and doctors. The support and care was immediate, unconditional, thorough and beneficial. The angels all lined up for me perfectly that day.”

Since then, Tim and Karen and the Delesalle’s family companies have pledged $55,000 toward the RCH’s campaign for a new Multipurpose Suite for cardiac and stroke patients.

There was one other dimension to Tim’s experience at RCH. He and his family played a significant role in the construction of The Delesalle Chapel, a sanctuary within the hospital to fulfill the spiritual needs of all patients and staff. It was there, during his recovery, that Tim would come to contemplate the miracle of his life on a daily basis.

Read the full story in our Spring 2011 Your Health Matters newsletter.

Patient Stories