After Ray Morton (second from left) had a heart attack, registered
nurse Shawna Curry, (left), his wife Darleen and family doctor
Scott Forsyth (right) worked with him to speed his recovery.
When you meet Calgarian Ray Morton, you are
greeted by the strong, friendly handshake of
a former professional hockey player, and the
confident demeanour that comes from a long
and successful media sales career.
But all his strength and confidence weren’t
enough to prevent a heart attack in June 2014.
Morton had just completed his final business
appointment of the day and felt unusually tired,
sweaty and short of breath. During the drive
home, he lost consciousness and woke up in an
ambulance as paramedics were defibrillating
“The pain was tremendous,” says Morton.
“I was asking the paramedics to stop shocking my
heart, because it hurt so much.”
They kept going, and he was admitted to hospital.
After undergoing heart surgery to insert a stent,
he was back home under the watchful care of
his cardiologist, family physician Dr. Scott Forsyth
and a health team at the Calgary West Central
Primary Care Network.
PCNs across Alberta have health teams that work
alongside doctors in their clinics. Helping with
Morton’s care was registered nurse Shawna Curry.
Curry spent time with Morton carefully reviewing
his diet. Because he has high blood pressure,
changes were needed, especially around his
sodium intake and eating habits.
Teams of health
patients regain health
“We had a lengthy discussion around food
quality, focusing on Eating Well with Canada’s
Food Guide,” says Curry. “It is difficult to
dramatically change your diet and part of the
PCN’s role is to help people make the change
through understanding and by setting goals.”
As part of his health team, Morton’s wife
Darleen helps him stay on track with his
medication and healthy eating. Forsyth and Curry
also give him information on managing coronary
All this support has helped. Over the last few
months, Morton has lost nearly 15 pounds and
tracked his blood pressure for his followup
“The road to recovery can be a long one,”
says Forsyth. “Patients need support to cope
with immediate changes in their lifestyle,
whether dietary or activity-based—change can
add additional stress. Many people have helped
Ray back to his full potential . . . it took a team
— Bart Goemans