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Shawn & Nuala's Story

On September 2014, Shawn Reilly felt a pain in his chest. He was only 39 years old, and he knew something wasn’t right.

Shawn rushed to the Saint John Regional Hospital, and as he and his wife Nuala waited in emergency room 15, things went from not right to terribly wrong.

“It all happened so fast,” Nuala shared. “All of a sudden, Shawn broke out in a full-body sweat. I ran into the hall to get help and by the time I got back to the room, Shawn’s heart had stopped. He was in full cardiac arrest.”

Within moments, doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, PSWs and trauma specialists were by Shawn’s side. After 45 minutes of CPR and 13 shocks from a defibrillator, Shawn’s heart started to beat again.

“I actually saw my husband die before my eyes,” Nuala said. “At least a dozen people in the hospital gave us a miracle that day. They didn’t know me as I cried in the corner. They didn’t know our five amazing kids. They only knew someone’s heart had stopped and had to be saved – and they saved him.”

Thanks to the immediate care and attention of our hospital’s ER team, after 17 days in the hospital, this father of five young children, and husband to Nuala of 20 years, could go home.

Shawn and Nuala are thankful our hospital was always on, always awake and here for them when they needed it most.  

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