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What is your name? 
Nick Mansfield.

What is your position with the Y? 
Centre Manager.

What Y Centre/program do you work with? 
H2O Adventure and Fitness Centre.

Please explain one fond memory you have of the Y.

Over the years, I have responded to a lot of incidents with YMCA's. From spinal injuries and unconscious patrons to frustrated patrons or kids just not having their best day. 

On one particular day with YMCA Calgary, a patron had a medical event during an aquafit class. This was in the first three months of a brand new building opening so we had a fairly new team of staff. 

Thankfully, our aquatic team intervened and rescued him. He was unconscious, not in good health and was having a heart attack. The team provided the needed medical attention and kept him in good hands until EMS arrived to transport him. The situation was so serious that he had to be airlifted from one hospital to another to ensure he got a lifesaving procedure done in time. He had to have arteries replaced. While the entire rescue was incredibly successful, what makes it a fond memory was the aftermath. 

The patron came back with some of the hospital team that received him that day and had a thank-you cake with the aquatic staff. All of these people who never knew each other got to sit down and chat about how each individual effort saved this patron's life. The best part? The patron himself. So upbeat, positive and just content to see everyone after all this. He was still making jokes about getting back to the aquafit class ASAP as it was the only place where he got to meet people to go on dates within their "old age".

It's moments like that where you realize how big of an impact our roles with the YMCA can have. We can see someone during the worst moment of their life and help change the outcome of their situation. It is not every day you get to have a conversation with 7 or 8 different people who all had a hand in saving this person's life and that is pretty cool. 

What is your favourite to do in the Okanagan?
While I have only been here for 1 month, I am looking forward to utilizing all the sport/active infrastructure Kelowna has. I have always wanted to get into rock climbing so hopefully, that becomes one of my favorite things to do! 

Tell us about a defining moment in your life.

When I was in grade 4, I got appendicitis. Due to some complications, it ruptured before they could operate and I ended up getting a staph infection (necrotizing fasciitis) and blood poisoning. I was in the hospital for about a month and a half and at one point was at risk of a negative outcome. 

During all of this, and even reflecting on it today, what I remember the most is the people. While I was in the hospital, I always found the medical side of things quite interesting and would ask questions about what the staff were doing, how they did it, etc. Every health care professional I interacted with always entertained my questions, taught me things, showed me things, joked with me, and just seemed to go an extra distance. All while they had so many other things to do.

What this turned into was a desire to pay it forward. All these people during that time helped save my life and I wanted to try and help other people in a similar capacity! As it turns out, that feeling has stuck and evolved since grade 4. Helping people has of course meant performing rescues as a lifeguard, but has also grown into helping provide a positive experience. A positive experience for staff, for members, for anyone where I can help improve a bad experience or help amplify a good one.

As a result of that experience in my life, I attribute a lot of my success today to this field of work and why it resonates so strongly with me.