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PSW saves a life with the help of fate and training

On April 9th, Carefor PSW Murphy Akangoziri had his appointments for the day. Among them was Fortunato Furano, a 93 year-old client he supports every Tuesday with dressing and some basic health care. Murphy works in Ottawa West and has two clients who live close to one another. He decided for some reason to visit Fortunato first. It was a decision that saved a life.

When Murphy walked in the door, he expected a visit like any other, but instead he found Fortunato’s wife laying on the floor not breathing. Her daughter had fought through her panic to dial 911 moments before Murphy arrived. An ambulance was on its way but in moments like this, minutes can feel like hours. As soon as Murphy entered the home he asked, “Can I help?” to which Fortunato pleaded, “Help save my wife, please.”

Having been trained in CPR offered by the Red Cross, he knew he had the training for situations like this but one never knows how they’ll be able to use it until the moment arises. This training was made available to Murphy and his fellow PSWs via donations to Carefor.

Murphy began giving chest compressions while Fortunato’s daughter gave mouth to mouth resuscitation. Fifteen minutes after they made the call, the ambulance arrived. “I felt confident in my training,” Murphy recalls. The paramedics arrived and with the defibrillator shocked Lidia’s heart. Fortunato looked on. All he could do was watch as the love of his life lay on the floor. Her heartbeat finally returned.

After the paramedics took Lidia to the hospital, Murphy stayed with Fortunato for two hours comforting him. “I was really really bad,” recalls Fortunato the emotion of the day still in his voice. “I want to thank [Murphy] very much.” Fortunato’s daughter who informed Carefor about the incident said, “basically [Murphy] helped save my mother’s life,” something the paramedics later confirmed. “I think he should be recognized…He stayed with my dad a good hour and a half to two hours [after].”

On April 18th, Carefor’s manager of Personal Support Services, Jennifer Faucher, PSS supervisor, Natalie Smith and PSS Professional Practice Lead, Diane Roscoe met with Murphy to thank him in person offering him a small token of our gratitude for his exceptional work. He also received a Carefor Stars pin and letter from Fortunato’s family.  “It’s not every day that you save a life and we wanted to acknowledge your efforts and we wanted to thank you for being part of the team,” said Jennifer Faucher to Murphy.

On receiving the thanks, Murphy expressed his gratitude but also showed his humility. He’s a large man standing over six feet but has a gentleness about him that you can see would have been comforting to Fortunato during his time of need. “It was like God told him to come to our house,” says Lidia’s daughter, Gina. “He wasn’t supposed to go then, but something told him to.” “I don’t know why I chose to go to their house first,” Murphy recalls. “I told [Fortunato] God loves your wife.”

Upon leaving their home, Murphy continued with his work going to his next client visit. He hasn’t visited Fortunato since the incident but takes comfort knowing he helped his wife. “She has a permanent pacemaker now,” says Gina. “She is sore, but she is doing better.”

Carefor offers Personal Support as part of our home care services in Ottawa, Cornwall and area and Pembroke-Renfrew County. To learn more, visit our website.