Harold St. Croix returned to work at the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) Water Treatment Plant (WTP) on Nov. 3.
Back in May, Harold suffered a cardiac arrest in his RMWB truck in the WTP parking lot. A team of seven fellow workers became first responders during the emergency and, thanks to their safety training and a nearby defibrillator, Harold is among the two per cent of the people who survive a stopped heart.
Doctors at the Fort McMurray hospital and Dr. Evan Lockwood, a heart specialist at the Royal Alexandra hospital in Edmonton, (where he underwent surgery for the insertion of a defibrillator) tell Harold he would not have survived had it not been for the action of his co-workers.
Harold says he’s been a bit babied since his return to his job as a maintenance labourer.
“I’m on regular duty, but they’re monitoring me, making sure I don’t overdo it,” explains Harold, who has lost 45 pounds since May.
“I’m on four medications for the rest of my life,” he continues. “I’m eating healthy, I’ve lost a lot of weight and I’ve got another 30 pounds to lose. I’d like to get as physically fit as I once was (as a younger man, he was a competitive runner). I’m walking every day. Then, I’ll trot. Then, I’ll run. It’s just easy does it, but do it.”
The near death experience has had quite an effect on Harold’s lifestyle – and his bucket list.
“I’ve never been on a boat cruise, but I’m going on a cruise to Mexico in February,” he says with a wide grin.
But he has even bigger plans than the boat cruise.
“Well, you know, I’m a die-hard Montreal Canadien fan and I’ve got tickets.
“After I land in Long Beach, California, I’ll be watching the Canadiens play three teams: the Anaheim Ducks, the San Jose Sharks and the LA Kings.”
Setting off on a boat cruise in February to where the winds are warm and taking in not one but three games being played by one’s favourite hockey team: Some would say Harold is a man who knows how to live.