Barry Waboose saves lives, delivers baby
Barry Waboose, a security guard at the Jeremiah McKay Kabayshewekamik (Hostel) in Sioux Lookout,, celebrates with supervisor Lorna Fiddler after receiving a plaque and certificate from James Morris, executive director of the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority.
Barry Waboose’s efforts to save two lives and deliver a baby were recognized on March 14 by the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority.
“I’m just glad that everybody was OK and everything worked out right,” said the Jeremiah McKay Kabayshewekamik (Hostel) security guard who helped a woman in delivery, saved a woman who was choking and revived a young man who had attempted suicide. “It’s just nice knowing you can help people. I’ve got a good rapport with a lot of the clients here — they know they can trust me and they know if they need help, I will be there for them.”
Waboose, originally from Eabametoong, credited his parents for raising him with respect and concern for others.
“You treat people how you want to be treated,” Waboose said. “Always try to be respectful to your Elders, to women and children. That’s what I try to carry on to my kids — what my parents taught me.”
Waboose revived the young man in his room with the help of the man’s roommate just after the hostel opened in Sioux Lookout in August 2011.
“I revived him and waited with him until the ambulance and the police came,” Waboose said. “He was almost gone by the time I got to him. We got him down and I was almost about to do mouth-to-mouth (resuscitation), when I was rubbing his back and I was about to turn him, but he started breathing on his own.”
Waboose helped the woman to deliver her baby boy last summer in a washroom at the hostel.
“I was the first one to attend the scene and I helped her,” Waboose said. “It just happened to be right time, right place. Somebody needed help and I was just there — you just do it instinctively. I didn’t freak out until after it was all said and done.”
Waboose said he focused on the mother, trying to keep her calm because the umbilical cord was still attached between the baby and mother.
“I was just trying to keep her mind off things, asking her questions, telling her my name,” Waboose said. “I was just trying to keep her mind occupied on me so she wouldn’t think about other things.”
Waboose helped the choking woman in the common area near the kitchen of the hostel after hearing a call for help.
“They were yelling ‘Barry, Barry,’” Waboose said. “I went and did the Heimlich maneuver on her and she was eating chicken and rice. She was in a hurry apparently to catch her flight and she was just eating too fast.”
All three people have since thanked Waboose for his assistance in their time of need.
“I was really surprised when they gave me the award,” Waboose said. “But the way I look at it — I was just doing my job. That’s why I started working there. I wanted to help people.”
Waboose received a plaque and certificate from James Morris, executive director of the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority, for his efforts.
The certificate stated: On this occasion for going above and beyond his duties as an employee in order to save the life of a client at the Jeremiah McKay Kabayshewekamik and for delivering the baby of another client. We recognize and honour your efforts and offer our sincere thanks.
“It was touching that my peers recognized me,” Waboose said. “I’ve got a good support crew. That’s what gives me the confidence to do what I do. I know if something goes down, they got my back.”
Waboose first started working in security with Health Canada in the early 1990s, then at the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre for 10 years before coming over to the hostel when it opened.
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