By Emma Teitel - Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 0 Comments
Heart disease ran in the family; he had survived three heart attacks, and a heart transplant
Ronald Alan Sept was born on Jan. 11, 1946, in Medicine Hat, Alta. His parents, Albert and Anne Sept, were farmers from Maple Creek, a rural Saskatchewan town, some 85 km southeast of Medicine Hat. Ron, the first of two children (his sister Carol would come five years later) was milking cows and feeding chickens at age five. He liked to ride horses, herd cattle and help his mom bake cookies. But his favourite pastime was music. When Ron was 7, he took up the accordion and couldn’t put it down. He was so skilled after just two weeks that his teacher sent him home: “The teacher said ‘He’s gonna teach me!’ ” Ron told his family.
On Christmas Eve, 1958, when Ron was 12, his dad suffered a heart attack and died. Things changed quickly for the Septs. Anne rented the family farm to her brother and moved Ron and Carol to Medicine Hat, where she found work in a hospital kitchen. Ron grew up overnight, helping with chores, getting Carol ready for school. But he wasn’t all that interested in school. As a teen he often missed class—intent on making a living, not getting a diploma. One day, when he was 16, he skipped school to help a friend deliver milk. Ron was in the passenger seat of his friend’s milk truck when another driver ran a stop sign and smashed into them. Ron went flying through the windshield. Miraculously, his only injury was a cut on his forehead; this, however, wouldn’t be the last time he dodged death. Continue…