When Stanley Schibler walked into CONNECT Lake Country in early September and asked to see a resident named Jules, he was not prepared for what he would encounter.
“I couldn’t believe it. I started crying when Jules said hello and stood up to walk towards me,” says Stanley.
The two men had never formally been introduced, but Stanley was with Jules right after the accident that nearly killed him more than four years ago.
In February of 2014, Stanley underwent a liver transplant. He was doing well but had been in the hospital with shingles and was on an IV medication at his cabin outside of Kelowna.
On August 31, an area resident knocked on Stanley’s door and asked if he knew emergency First Aid.
As a Level 1 paramedic with a background as a safety specialist, Stanley jumped into action to help. He grabbed his First Aid kit and ventured to the Beaver Lake alpine area where Jules had accidentally driven his quad over a cliff.
By the time Stanley got to the scene, a number of first responders were there. Stanley became the triage person as the small crew managed to support and maintain Jules’ breathing
“We suspected a neck injury and a number of other injuries. It took two hours for him to be transported out. It was pretty grave.”
In the following weeks, Stanley visited Jules in the hospital on three separate occasions. Jules was in a coma for two of the visits and awake but non-communicative on the third visit.
“I thought he wasn’t going to make it. He had a glazed look in his eyes. Again, he was in such grave shape.”
Years passed before Stanley would see Jules again. Stanley’s wife came upon Jules’ name in association with a place called CONNECT in Lake Country. Taking a leap of faith, Stanley went to CONNECT in early September and found a thriving man who had come a very long way since that day in 2014.
“This story is really one of second chances,” says Stanley. “I was given a second chance through my liver transplant and Jules was given a second chance after his accident.”
Jules says he is forever grateful to Stanley, not only for helping to save his life, but for finding him again and caring about the progress he’s made and hard work he has put in.
“We had such a good talk when Stanley came to see me,” says Jules. “I can usually keep my emotions in check, but I was flooded with emotion when we met and talked. I was anxious to show him how far I’ve come.”
Since their meeting in September, Jules has moved into his own apartment in Kelowna, which he says is “absolutely perfect” and where he was able to host his son last weekend for a sleepover for the first time in four years.
“My son wakes up at 7:30am so I set my alarm for 7 and I woke up and made breakfast and set the table. I feel like I’m able to be a good dad again.”
Jules’ current goal is to have his son stay with him every weekend.
Stanley and Jules have kept in touch and have met in person again to share some photos from the day of the accident over coffee at Starbucks.
Stanley says Jules continues to inspire him with his positive attitude and outlook.
“Jules told me he is blessed that his accident happened. He says he’s a better person now and has a real love for life he didn’t have before. What an incredible guy. What incredible insight.
“I think what CONNECT has done with Jules is so unbelievable. Locally, I want people to know that place exists and how it impacts lives like it did for Jules.”
Stanley is no stranger to saving lives. He has been recognized more than once with Governor General awards for bravery, was a professional lifeguard for more than a decade and has volunteered for the Red Cross.
“It’s my life. I can’t go by someone in trouble and not help”
He stays active and plans to participate in the Canadian Transplant Games when he turns 65 in three years.
He is currently involved with BC Transplant and ICBC with the initiative to add an organ donation option on BC driver’s licenses, which has drastically increased the number of registered donors in the province.
“Like organ donation, this story with Jules is one of second chances. We both wouldn’t be alive without assistance in our time of need. It’s just incredible.”
Jules says he’d like to stay in touch with Stanley and can tell he’s a genuinely good person.
“From the bottom of my heart, I’m so thankful to Stanley for helping me in my time of need and for finding me after all this time to share that part of my story with me.”
To read more about Jules, click the following link: