Thursday, February 5, 2015

My new birthday

This year I'm going to be starting a new tradition of celebrating my 2nd chance in life in what I'm going to refer to as my "Life Day"

On March 28th, 1994 I was involved in an altercation outside of Bayshore Shopping Centre in Ottawa, Ontario and Stabbed thirteen times.  I came very close to dying that night when one of the knife wounds missed my heart by half an inch.

I feel I have made the most of my life since then by always paying it forward and by starting "Timmies for Troops" in 2007.

A lot of people have asked since reading my "Bell Lets Talk Day" PTSD post what happened to the guys that did this to me.  The charges started as attempted murder then downgrade to aggravated assaults and last I heard two of them went to jail for five years.

It's time for me to bring closure to this now that I have my PTSD from this under control and a different outlook.

Every year on March 28th, I'm going to treat it like a second birthday.  I plan to randomly bring coffee & treats to fire halls & EMS here in Calgary as if it wasn't for them I would be in a wheel chair with one leg and who knows I might not even be here to type this blog.

I am currently searching for the first responders who helped saved my life on this blog "Can You Help me find the first responders who saved my life" 

If I could hope anyone reading this can take away something from this write up it's to cherish every moment you have with your loved ones as you never know when your time might be up.  I was lucky enough to get a second chance in life and going to make the most out of it.

Dave Murphy
Calgary, AB

Links : 
Original BELL Let's Talk Day Post - My Battle With PTSD
Blog post about my request to help find the First Responders who saved my life  

Here are two news articles from the days following the event.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

How To Roll A Timmies Cup

I've seen people trying everything to roll up their Tim Hortons cups, between chewing on them, trying to use one finger to pull them up or even paying $2 for a device to roll up your cup for you.

Well I thought I would share my technique I've been using for years, I call it the two thumbed "Push & Flip"

Happy Rolling.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Can You Help Me Find the First Responders who saved my life?

After many years of putting it off and dealing with symptoms of PTSD from what happened to me outside Bayshore Shopping Centre in Ottawa, Ontario I've decided to try and track down any of the first responders that saved my life in 1994.

My name is Dave Murphy and in March of 1994 I was attacked by three guys outside of the Bayshore Shopping Centre and stabbed multiple times. As this is now almost 21 years later many parts of that night are foggy but I'm hoping to find the EMS, Police or any first responders that were on site that night who helped saved my life.

I know two of the stab wounds on my leg if it had not been for a guy holding the muscle in my leg together I would be here typing this right now but I would be doing it from a wheelchair as if it wasn't for him I would have lost my leg.

I attempted to contact the "Personal Healh Information Office" and received the following reply :

Thank you for you inquiry, I would like to inform you that in 1994 Paramedic Service were provided via private firms. I would suggest the inquiring via the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care who are the governing body for all Paramedic Services in Ontario. May I suggest a starting point ,
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care - Personal Health Information Office

I attempted to contact them and received this reply :

We don’t provide the type of information you are looking for.
You could try contacting the local ambulance service that tended to you. I believe they keep records of this sort of thing, or might be able to point you in the right direction.

I did post about the ordeal for #BellLetsTalk day and did have a retired fire fighter contact me who's looking in to it for me as well but maybe someone who knows someone might see this post and be able to help me find some of these heroes who I wouldn't be here today if not for their actions that night.

On the retired fire fighter page one of his friends did post the following :

In a general sense perhaps Nepean police info was incorporated in the the Ottawa Regional Police (Which of course has since transitioned into Ottawa Police Service). The Ottawa Police Service would be my starting point. Now from my time in Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) I know some departments used CPIC more than others if the department didn't have a robust internal computer system but I don't know where to start to access the CPIC. I would guess that a federal access to information request for entries created by Nepean police on xx date near yy time re stabbing incident. On a general note based on my 42 years in federal service all information desired should be done through a formal request. Informal requests / emails can be ignored or fobbed off by civil servants. Formal requests have deadlines to meet and penalties for non compliance. I know this from making a few requests myself while pursuing a grievance. In 1994 the ambulance service was a single entity province wide with dispatch centres (CACC) run by contract entity and some ambulances were private contractors. However the Ministry Of Health (MOH) set and enforced the reporting and documentation criteria across the province and everything ended up with the MOH. The patient log was a huge form in very small print with what seemed like hundreds of check boxes. The same form was used province wide by all ambulances. Those records may not have ever been computerized but likely exist in microfiche. A formal request to MOH for info would help open these old files. A further idea, "follow the money" the ambulance ride and hospital care would have been charged to the patients OHIP number. An formal access request for date time against that OHIP number could be the beginning of getting more information.

You can read my "Battle With PTSD" post for #BellLetsTalk day as well.

I want to find anyone that responded that night and be able to say THANK YOU.  I am going to be in Ontario in April and would love it if I could meet them in person and bring closure to these events and move along with my new life & new baby.

If anyone has any information please feel free to EMAIL ME


Dave Murphy - Calgary, AB

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Timmies Thursdays

After my incident in 1994 where I had my life saved by two off duty first responders I would randomly drop of a tin of Tim Hortons coffee to fire halls & Police stations in the Ottawa area.

Fast forward to 2007 & I heard that they had opened a Tim Hortons in Afghanistan so I started "Tim Hortons For Our Troops" which was responsible for sending over $200,000 in free coffee to military serving in Afghanistan.

In June 2013 I organized #YYCCOffeeRun which was a low key effort to bring Tim HOrtons coffee to first responders in Calgary & High River to say thank you for all the amazing work they did after the Calgary floods.

Several Calgary Business donated gift cards, people brought their own gift cards to give out and we ended up handing out over $4000 in coffee to first responders & people affected by the floods in one day.

It was a small scale event and a few companies offered to donate their company vehicles to help deliver it but I declined as I didn't want it turning in to a publicity kind of thing.

Now that I'm semi-retired from all things @Thankasoldier I have decided that every Thursday I pay for the person behind me in line at Tim Hortons and call it #TimmiesThursday.

It would be really call if this caught on and at least once a week we could make someone's day with a simple jesture.

If you take part no need to post specific info but tweet out the following.

I just purchased a @TimHortons for the person behind me for #TimmiesThursday

Help spread the word

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

My Battle With PTSD

A few days ago I picked up a copy of the Calgary Metro newspaper and read about a student from Calgary Brett Rothery who wanted to do something to help spread awareness about Mental Health issues and raise money for the Canadian Mental Health Association.    As many are aware BELL has it's "Let's Talk" campaign and although it does great things this effort wasn't started by a corporate giant able to afford to pay for a "Promoted Tweet".  This was a simple mission and movement that started on Twitter and has taken the country by storm.

A lot of people have tweeted about it and although most positive some people call it a "Copy Cat" initiative but really can we really have too many campaigns to get people talking that need help? I don't think so

I had a conversation via Twitter with the founder and I had a feeling he was being over whelmed by all the attention it was getting.  I told him to forget about the people hiding behind keyboards who have negative things to say as they're just looking to get a rise out of you.  My conversation with him and reading through all the tweets & stories on the #CHHSLETSTALK hash tag inspired me to write about what happened to me in 1994.

In 1994 I was walking home from work in Ottawa, Ontario and was approached by three Somalians. They started yelling derogatory remarks at me which I ignored and kept walking. They continued to follow me and one of them came me and at the time I thought he was throwing punches so I attempted to defend myself. At that time two of his friends jumped in and I was being bombarded with what I thought were punches.

They ran off and I started to walk away shaken by what happened but thankful to not feel too much pain. I put my hand down on my leg and looked at my hand to see blood dripping off it. At that point I realized I had been stabbed and passed out on the sidewalk.

Thankfully an off duty fire fighter & EMS were driving by and jumped out to see if I was ok. I later found out I had been knifed thirteen times in total. The two worse were on my leg and in fact the fireman held the muscle together in my leg until an ambulance arrived. If he hadn’t of done that I would have lost my leg and would be typing this from a wheel chair.

I had nine stab wounds on my back one of which punctured my lung and another missed by heart by half an inch.

I lay there in the parking lot of the Bayshore Shopping Centre mall not really knowing what was going on just remember seeing a crowd of people around me and one lady who held my hand the whole time. She came in the ambulance with us and later when I came to at the hospital I asked where the lady was that was in the ambulance and no one knew what I was talking about.

For a lot of years I carried what happened to me around with me and never talked to anyone about it, just let it sit there. A few times when I was out in public and I’d see someone that looked to be of Somali decent I would start to have anxiety attacks and one time I even had to get off a Toronto subway train as a group of ten of them got on. This is not something I’m proud of but also something you can’t help when something like this happens to you.

I thought I was fine and didn't think I needed help for it but two years ago I finally had enough and it was through talking with a soldier about how he was going through the same situation when he would be driving down the road here in Canada and see an old beat up white pickup truck he would go another route or pull off the road.

I have been running various efforts to support soldiers since 2007 and have met a lot of our men and women who serve our country both online and in person. I have spent many nights on the phone until late hours of the morning just talking to them as they know they can talk to me in confidence and not worry about me posting names or any information publicly on here or Facebook.

I've received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, Knighted Into The Order Of St. George & a member of Avenue Magazines Top 40 Under 40 however there's times before I got help I would think to myself "I wonder if these people knew some of the thoughts I have had as a result of what happened to me if they'd take the awards back"

I honestly wish I had of gone to talk to someone sooner but asking for help is a tough thing to do when you might feel asking for help is a sign of weakness but I’m glad I did.

When I moved in to my new building last year my wife was about seven months pregnant and couldn't help with any of the moving. Our new neighbor who is a Somali saw me doing all the work myself and came over to me to offer his assistance. A few years ago I’m not sure how I would have reacted but I’m very happy to see we've actually become good friends.

For a lot of years I tried to figure why I was spared that night in Ottawa? At first I thought it was to run efforts in support of our men & women in uniform or to try and make a difference in the world.  It became VERY CLEAR why I wasn't killed by the events in Ottawa on July 1st, 2014 when me and my wife had our first child on Canada Day.  Every time I look at her I'm thankful for my second chance.

I saw what the kids of a Calgary High school were doing with #CHHSLetsTalk and decided to do a write up about my own personal battle with a form of mental illness in hopes it might help someone get help dealing with anything similar.

Update : As of today January 8th a coworker of mine who was inspired by what I wrote has pledged to donate $0.25 to the Canadian Mental Health Association for every RT this post gets.  (UP to a maximum of $1000)

If you'd like to help you can click the link below and click RT

Dave Murphy, Calgary, AB

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Do you know more about Canada or America?

A friend of mine since me a quiz this morning called "Could you become a U.S. Citizen" quiz I took it and got thirty five questions right out of 50.  I then took the "How well do you know Canada" and got 25 out of 30.

I'm wondering how others would score especially some of my friends in the United States would score on the Canadian quiz.

Feel free to take them & leave a comment on how you scored on both and we're your from.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Be A Part Of The Energy

So Calgary Economic Development is hosting a contest for people to come check out Calgary and see what it has to offer

"You’re invited to visit our city and check it out as great place to make a living and make a life. You could win two tickets to YYC from anywhere WestJet flies in Canada. Just tell us what you love about our city and enter to win an opportunity to experience our energy."

I am entering this contest for my parents who currently live in Pickering, Ontario. My wife & I recently had a daughter on July 1st, 2014 and my family all came out in August to see her. They loved Calgary and I'm trying to put the bug in their ear to move out here as I did in 2007 and this contest would be a great way to help with that.

I am very close with my family and have a trip planned for Easter to bring my wife & daughter to see them again but it's hard with her growing up so fast with them so far away.  We Skype every second day and my mother even sings her to sleep on occasion.

I don't make a lot of money and my wife is on Maternity leave so we're finding it hard to get by as it is.  If I had the money I'd fly them out myself.

My parents are retired Salvation Army officers who spent their lives helping others and putting others before themselves.  I am very thankful to have them in my life and this little contest would be an amazing way to say thanks and to have them see little Chloe one extra time this year.