NL health minister uses CPR to save man’s life at Gander Legion

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GANDER, N.L. – Newfoundland and Labrador’s health minister used CPR to save a man’s life at a local legion on the weekend.

John Haggie, a doctor, was digging into a plate of brewis — a traditional dish made of cod and hard bread — at the Gander Legion when the man collapsed.

Haggie refused to speak to reporters about it Tuesday, but the incident was confirmed by an aide.

The aide confirmed an earlier report that the man was not responsive and didn’t have a pulse — the two criteria to begin CPR.

Haggie had told the CBC he followed routine life support training and that his role was “really just coincidental.”

The incident happened Saturday during the Festival of Flight’s traditional fisherman’s brewis lunch at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 8.

“A gentleman attending collapsed and needed CPR. You follow the routine as [per the] training in your basic life support,” Haggie told the CBC.

Through the aide, Haggie referred further questions Tuesday to the Heart and Stroke Foundation to discuss the importance of CPR training for individuals.

Haggie, a general and vascular surgeon originally from Manchester, England, served as president of the Canadian Medical Association and was elected to the provincial legislature in 2015.