Ottawa man suffers hypothermia after holding open door for several hours

Illustration by Cara Seccafien

Illustration by Cara Seccafien

‘I’m so sorry everyone,’ says man

By Klara Woldenga, Humour Editor


Car windshields, sidewalks, and little old ladies aren’t the only casualties of this never-ending Ontario winter. Jamie Marven, Ottawa resident, was hospitalized last week with a severe case of hypothermia after holding a grocery store door open for four continuous hours.

Last Thursday afternoon, Marven headed to the Stop N’ Shop grocery store to pick up some milk—his second dairy run of the day.

“I run out often because I use it a lot,” said Marven. “I use it for cereal, as well as all things that are not cereal… that’s basically everything, now that I think about it.”

Before entering the store, Marven noticed a woman behind him also heading towards the entrance. Instead of going inside, he held it open and let her go in first. Unfortunately, the woman was followed by her two children, 12 teenagers, a man and his 16 dogs, the local high school football team, and the entire high school clown team (which arrived in a single car). According to the reports, the Ottawa Conga Group also arrived for their monthly shopping event.

Over a hundred conga members danced their way into the store as Marven continued to keep the door open. As time went on, he began experiencing the first signs of hypothermia: Extreme shivering and mental confusion.

“I knew something was wrong,” said Marven. “Using my free hand, I looked up the signs with my WebMD app, it was pretty neat! WebMD also told me that I have cancer, which wasn’t quite as neat.”

Despite these newly-discovered facts, Marven continued to stand his ground and hold the door, as he believed stopping to go inside was rude. The entire incident lasted over four hours, as many of the people heading inside refused to go in first, trying to allow either Marven or another person to go in before them.

“Continuing to hold the door was just the right thing to do,” said Marven. “Keeping it open is what John A. Macdonald would have wanted. He didn’t come all the way from Scotland and invent Canada just so I could close a door and be rude.”

By the time everyone had entered the building, Marven was experiencing more severe signs of hypothermia such as slurred speech and shallow breathing. Soon after, he fell to the ground and passed out due to an extremely low core body temperature, allowing the door to finally close. It was then that Janice Franklin, the store owner, called an ambulance.

“I knew right away something was wrong,” said Franklin. “The second I realized no one was politely holding my door open I called 911.”

The ambulance came quickly, but the paramedics became delayed as they were confronted with the unexpected task of holding the door open as everyone exited the building. After four hours of holding the door, the paramedics were able to take Marven to the hospital.

After spending a week in the hospital, Marven has successfully recovered and returned home.

“I’m sorry for the trouble I caused,” said Marven, “But I can’t say that it won’t happen again. Doors don’t keep themselves open, except for those automatic doors—and I don’t understand those.”

The Other Press

The Other Press, Douglas College's student newspaper since 1976. Articles, insight and updates from the New West and Coquitlam campuses.

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