An athlete plays with new heart

Scott Ouellette is a man with a new heart thanks to a transplant last August, but his nickname — Tinman — has stuck.

Scott Ouellette is back playing ball hockey in Red Deer. Ouellette received a heart transplant following a massive heart attack.

Scott Ouellette is back playing ball hockey in Red Deer. Ouellette received a heart transplant following a massive heart attack.

Scott Ouellette is a man with a new heart thanks to a transplant last August, but his nickname — Tinman — has stuck.

Ouellette, 29, of Red Deer had a heart attack exactly one year ago today that was so severe it killed the left side of his heart.

Two days later, an external pump was linked to his heart to pump his blood to keep him alive.

He was on top of Alberta’s heart transplant list for about four months until a suitable heart was found. He went back on the operating table for a heart transplant on Aug. 15.

Ouellette said before his massive heart attack, his family had discussed organ donation and agreed they would do it to help save lives.

“We never thought we would need it. You never think of that,” said the sales rep with Acklands Grainger on Tuesday.

“Being 28 years old and as athletic as I was, I never expected it either.”

On the day he had his heart attack, he had been playing ball hockey.

That’s why he was eager to talk about the importance of organ donation during National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week, April 19 to 25.

“Most people don’t even know where to find their organ donation card. Everybody has one. It’s on the back of the Alberta Health Care Card.”

People also need to discuss their decision to donate their organs with their family because families can override their wish to donate even if a donor card is signed, he said.

Recently, Ouellette sent a letter to the family who gave him the best gift ever. One day when they’re ready, he’d love to meet them.

“Their loved one saved my life. It’s like someone pulling you from a burning building.” And more people need that chance, Ouellette said.

“It’s not like everyone who gets into an accident can be a donor. You have to be brain dead and there’s absolutely nothing the doctors can do for you.

“If they are not in the hospital when they pass away on machines, then there’s no chance of saving their organs. Really, it’s got to be the perfect storm.”

Ouellette continues to get stronger every day. In January, he started playing hockey again and he’s back playing in the Red Deer Men’s Ball Hockey League.

Come August, Ouellette and his fiancee Amy Evasiuk will walk down the aisle on the anniversary of his transplant.

“We couldn’t think of a more appropriate day.”

For more information about organ donation, go to http://organdonations.ca

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rocky Mountain House RCMP are investigating a fatal collision involving a pedestrian on Feb. 27. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Rocky Mountain House RCMP investigate fatal pedestrian collision

Collision occured west of Rocky on Highway 11A

A cross-country skier glides along the banks of the Ottawa River in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Canadians across the country can look forward to a mild spring peppered with the odd winter flashback throughout the first part of the season, according to predictions from one prominent national forecaster. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Mild spring with some wintry blasts predicted for most of Canada: Weather Network

March will be dramatically warmer through the prairies

Bharat Masrani, CEO, TD Bank Group speaks at the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto on Wednesday, November 1, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

Shares in metals and mining companies have rebounded sharply

A worker carrying a disinfectant sprayer walks past a WestJet Airlines Boeing 737-800 aircraft, after cleaning another plane at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday, January 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
WestJet to lay off undisclosed number of pilots amid labour negotiations

Layoff notices to go out ahead of the expiration of a memorandum of agreement

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Feds hoping for AstraZeneca shots this week as Pfizer-BioNTech prepare next delivery

Canada has ordered 24 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine

Red Deer dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped save a missing pet recently. The two dogs have more than 80,000 followers on Twitter. (Contributed photo)
WATCH: Red Deer science dogs help save lost pet

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped rescue a missing pet… Continue reading

A ” Justice for Jeff” T-shirt. (Photo submitted)
Rally to be held outside Red Deer courthouse for slain Ponoka man

Sentencing for accused charged with manslaughter with a firearm set for March 4

Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson makes a shot against Team Alberta as second Shannon Birchard, right, and lead Briane Meilleur sweep in the semi-final at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Kerri Einarson wins second straight Canadian women’s curling championship

Einarson and her teammates celebrated Sunday in the silence in an empty arena

Amy Poehler and Tina Fey hosted the Golden Globes on Feb. 28, 2021. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
With loved ones and pets, Globes winners embrace cozier show

Nicole Kidman and musician-husband Keith Urban got glammed up to sit on their couch

The cast of “Schitt’s Creek” pose for a photo after winning the Award for Best Comedy Series at the Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto on March 31, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Schitt’s Creek nabs two Golden Globes for its final season

Catherine O’Hara named best television actress in a musical or comedy

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Premier slams vandalism after slur painted on MLA’s office window

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is condemning alleged vandalism at the… Continue reading

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Machin waits to appear at the Standing Committee on Finance on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. Executives who engage in so-called "vaccine tourism" show both an ethical disregard for those less fortunate and a surprising lack of business acumen, experts argue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine tourism is both unethical and bad for business, experts say

Executives who engage in so-called “vaccine tourism” show both an ethical disregard… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers' Jesse Puljujarvi (13) and Toronto Maple Leafs' Justin Holl (3) battle in front as goalie Jack Campbell (36) makes the save during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, February 27, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
No Matthews, no problem: Minus NHL goal leader, Maple Leafs blank Oilers 4-0

Leafs 4 Oilers 0 EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs knew even with… Continue reading

Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Pablo Rodriguez rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Gummed-up bills in House of Commons: harbinger of a federal election?

OTTAWA — All federal party leaders maintain they don’t want an election… Continue reading

Most Read