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Downer recuperating at home, grateful for GBGH, community support

‘“Remember to love one another, it’s a short ride,' says Midland councillor who fell ill last week
Midland Councillor Jim Downer

Words of praise came from Jim Downer toward the local community and medical facilities who helped him since falling ill last week.

Downer, a former mayor of Midland and current council member, faced emergency circumstances during a regular council meeting last week. Immediate support was provided by fellow council members and staff in the chambers, which several peers said were critical in saving his life.

From his home where he is resting, Downer spoke to MidlandToday about his recovery.

“I’m doing fine, I’m just recuperating,” said Downer in his strong-timbered voice.

“I’m very grateful to the people that helped me. It was a wonderful thing to have all those people supporting you. We’re lucky to live in a community like this. Georgian Bay General Hospital – the staff, the doctors, the intensive care unit staff – all outstanding. Absolutely outstanding. 

“Anybody that bashes that hospital better step back and have another look because they’re wonderful. The whole community has come together. The support that I’ve had is unbelievable,” he added.

The sudden illness caused concern for Downer throughout the community, and he was asked if that changed his outlook or aspirations.

“I take things very seriously,” Downer admitted. “I’m kind of a serious guy, and I take my responsibilities as a councillor very serious. 

“Maybe I’m taking things too serious. Maybe I’ve got to lighten up a little bit. I’m a guy who wants to do the best he can for the town he loves. That’s the bottom line.”

When asked to the length of his rest break, Downer was optimistic in response.

“I don’t imagine I’ll be away that long.”

Over the weekend, Downer used his social media to thank everyone for their prayers on his “road to recovery”.

“God bless you,” wrote Downer. “Remember to love one another, it’s a short ride.”

Fire Chief Richard Renaud, one of the immediate assistants to helping Downer at the emergency, wished to remind the public last week of the importance in learning first aid, CPR and how to use a defibrillator.

"During cardiac arrests, seconds count,” said Renaud. “Rapid by-standard CPR along with the application of a public access defibrillator can make a big difference in patient outcomes.”

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Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Derek Howard covers Midland and Penetanguishene area civic issues under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada.
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