As a firefighter in his hometown, Gilles had helped land the STARS helicopter on a number of occasions. Little did he know one day that same iconic red helicopter would be coming for him.

“I woke up in the morning and everything was fine for about the first 20 minutes. Then my arm went numb and I thought that was strange. I tried to grab a coffee cup and I couldn’t do that. So I went in front of the mirror and tried to put my hands up and smile. That’s when I was pretty sure I was having a stroke.”

A short time later, first responders arrived at his house and confirmed his fears. He was indeed experiencing a stroke. STARS was called and transported him to hospital where he received immediate care.

Fortunately Gilles has enjoyed a full recovery from his stroke, something he attributes to the time saved by being transported in the STARS helicopter.

“With a stroke time is of the essence,” Gilles said. “We need STARS and I’m grateful for them every day.”

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