Photo of Kuljit Minhas

“I was born in Williams Lake: everyone knew each other; everything was outdoors. I went into sciences at Thompson Rivers University, driving back weekends to work at the mill with my Dad.

"My first respiratory therapist jobs were at Royal Columbian and St. Paul’s Hospitals in 2006. I wanted hard trauma cases early. I resuscitate babies the size of my hand and help 90-year-olds take last breaths. I’m proud I’ve also helped optimize lungs for organ donation: my brother had two kidney transplants. I’ve gotten into quality improvement, bringing jet ventilators to the NICU to help babies breathe, adapting them for skin-to-skin.

In 2016, I had a large pulmonary embolism, a clot in my lungs. I was short of breath, joking I had an embolism. I almost fainted. The doctor said, I don’t know how you’re even walking. I have to be on blood thinners for life.

I have two Siberian Husky pups: Floki and Rolo – I’m a chocoholic. I run, hike, have my black belt in jujitsu. My wife, her mother and I operate GKA Family Farm, a small blueberry and raspberry farm – it’s a nice break. My mother-in-law’s 70 – she taught me to drive a tractor! I hated berry picking as a child; I used to pick blocks from my future wife. Now I’ve come full circle!”

-- Kuljit Minhas, Supervisor, Respiratory Therapy, Royal Columbian Hospital

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