I now know first-hand how important it is to have the most advanced equipment, technology and cardiac specialists at Royal University Hospital. As the past volunteer Chair of the Royal University Hospital Foundation and as a donor I was aware of the innovation and advanced care that donor support provided, but I never expected to be alive today because of the advances in innovation at Royal University Hospital.
Saving lives is a daunting task. It is one that the interventional cardiology team at Royal University Hospital face every day. I trust you will bear with me as I explain why I am writing to ask you to make a donation to ensure that Saskatchewan families, including yours, have access to the best possible cardiac care for when the unimaginable happens, as it did to me earlier this year.
The Royal University Hospital Foundation has committed to raise $600,000 this year to provide the newest technology and upgrades for our Cardiac Catheterization and Electrophysiology Labs to address the growing complexity of care required for men and women with heart disease. Did you know that cardiac disease is the second leading cause of death among Canadians?
Last year the amazing interventional cardiology team at RUH performed 3,200 life-saving and life changing minimally-invasive emergency and outpatient diagnostic and treatment procedures, ranging from the clearing of blocked arteries to the repairing of heart structure defects. The interventional cardiology team’s work is dependent on the medical imaging and x-ray equipment and technology including the use of radioactive dye that allows them to see clearly inside the patient’s body.
Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Jason Orvold, the Cath Lab’s Medical Director, tells me these upgrades will be transformational for both patients and his team as it will produce the highest image quality possible while dramatically reducing x-ray exposure to both patients and staff. This will allow for more complex and longer procedures to take place because of the lower exposure to radiation doses.
Dr. Orvold and his team are truly grateful to you for considering a donation to upgrade the 10-year-old equipment and technology. Your donation, says Dr. Orvold, will help ensure that Saskatchewan families have access to innovative patient care and next-generation equipment when the unexpected occurs, as it did to me and I was only one of the many patients who arrived at RUH that day who required lifesaving cardiac care.
I couldn’t agree more with Dr. Orvold. Your donation, no matter the size, combined with other donations will have a direct benefit for patients in Saskatchewan who may not even know they will need cardiac interventions until the moment they do.
Before sharing my story, I would like to tell you a little bit about myself. I am 61 years old, a father, a businessperson, a community volunteer, a donor to the RUH Foundation, a past volunteer board member and past chair of the RUH Foundation.
In early May, I was out in the yard trimming root suckers from the cherry trees. What I was doing wasn’t overly strenuous. I was sweating a bit but thought it was because of the jacket and hat I had on.
Later that evening, I started to feel agonizing pain in the back of my shoulder and thought I should call my chiropractor in the morning to see if he could see me later in the day. I never did make that call. Instead, the next morning I went to Saskatoon City Hospital’s Emergency Department, was examined and quickly transferred to RUH. I was having a heart attack and I couldn’t believe it was happening to me, a healthy, active person with no pre-existing conditions.
Within minutes of my arrival to RUH’s Emergency Department, I was rushed to the Cath Lab.
During my procedure, for which I was awake, I was able to listen to the interventional cardiologist and watch the camera as a long thin catheter device was inserted through a small incision in my wrist and threaded through the blood vessels to the heart. A tiny device to remove the blood clot was inserted followed by a small metal coil called a stent used to permanently help decrease the chance of the blood vessel narrowing again.
Before I knew it, the procedure was complete and by noon I was resting comfortably in my bed on the unit. I was able to go home after four days and began my cardiac rehab that included medication and a formal exercise plan.
I am forever grateful to the lifesaving care I received at RUH. Please join me in supporting the Royal University Hospital Foundation’s commitment to raise $600,000 to upgrade the Cath and Electrophysiology Labs at RUH. Your gift, no matter the size, will save lives.
President, Alliance Energy
P.S. My experience at Royal University Hospital was truly phenomenal. Thanks to Drs. Colin Pearce and Carlo Stuglin and so many others at the hospital and at the LiveWell Cardiac Rehab Program, I continue to enjoy all that life has to offer. Earlier this summer, I was able to return to work and even resumed golfing with good friends who call me a stent rookie, as two of my golf buddies already have lifesaving cardiac stents and one left the hospital with 13. I am so grateful. Thank you.