Pat’s story

Team from St. Mary’s helps torch-bearer achieve his goal

Photo of Pat Doherty and his daughter Kathy holding their Olympic torchesAs fans chanted his name, 81-year-old Pat Doherty stepped out of a golf cart and climbed to the podium at Kitchener City Hall last December 27. He held his Olympic torch high and then lit the cauldron, prompting wild cheers from the crowd of 13,000. Many had heard that just 39 days earlier Pat had been felled by a heart attack and literally brought back from the dead. “I was lucky to be there,” the humble octogenarian recalls. “I should have died, but I didn’t. I guess it wasn’t my turn.” 

“We were so happy to have him at St. Mary’s because of its reputation,” says Gloria Doherty, Pat’s wife of 58 years. “The care was fantastic.”

Helping Pat achieve his goal was a team of people, including staff and physicians at St. Mary’s, where he spent three weeks recovering after his heart stopped at meeting. Luckily for him, there were those at the meeting who knew CPR and kept him alive until paramedics arrived. 

“We were so happy to have him at St. Mary’s because of its reputation,” says Gloria Doherty, Pat’s wife of 58 years. “The care was fantastic.” Everyone in the family knew that he would still want to carry the Olympic torch however. 

“He never wavered that it was going to happen,” recalls Nurse Practitioner Jeannine Costigan. “It was amazing.” His doctor however wasn’t so optimistic. 

“I thought we would be doing well if he could make it out of the hospital,” said Dr. Danielle Leddy. 

The golf cart provided a solution. 

“Everyone on the team knew that was the goal and were working toward it,” says Dr. Leddy. “And he did it, and we were proud to help him keep that promise to himself, his family and the community that clearly he loves very much.”

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