Paul Klauck’s life-saving tale sparks urgent call for improved healthcare access

Fort Erie residents packed the Leisureplex banquet hall on January 11th for a public discussion on the state of local healthcare, organized by a group called Fort Erie Healthcare SOS. Hundreds attended the event, eager to share their concerns and experiences.

Credit: Fort Erie Healthcare SOS | Facebook

One local resident, Paul Klauck, recounted a recent health scare at Douglas Memorial Hospital. Experiencing chest pains, Klauck visited the urgent care centre and subsequently lost consciousness after suffering a serious heart attack. Hospital staff, whom he praised as “angels,” managed to revive him and save his life.

“Without those guys there, I wouldn’t be here today,” Klauck later told CHCH. “I also thank them for not giving up because if they didn’t, you know, if they stopped, I wouldn’t be here, and my wife and my parents and my family would be planning a funeral.”

Klauck’s story resonated with the crowd, highlighting the anxieties around limited access to urgent care at Douglas Memorial. Since July 5, 2023, urgent care hours have been restricted to 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., prompting concern and criticism from residents and politicians alike.

MPP Wayne Gates, for instance, who also attended the meeting, expressed his support for local healthcare on Instagram, stating, “Health care is a right, and every community – big or small – deserves access to care, when and where they need it. I will always stand with residents.”

While Klauck’s story serves as a testament to the dedication of healthcare professionals, it also emphasizes the community’s desire for stable and readily available urgent care services. It remains to be seen how these concerns will be addressed, but the passionate response at the meeting demonstrates the depth of feeling on this issue among Fort Erie residents.

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