Dwayne Nicholson

Dwayne Nicholson’s wonderful big smile says it all! That’s because he can now receive a portion of follow-up care for his Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD),  commonly known as a mechanical heart, at RUH rather than in Alberta.

Dwayne is extremely grateful that RUH Foundation, its donors, and Orano’s Wish Fund have purchased a $20,000 wireless communication system for RUH’s Heart Function Clinic that monitors his mechanical heart’s performance and adjusts its functioning parameters.

“The new piece of equipment is worth its weight in gold to patients like me and our families,” says Dwayne, referring to the HeartMate Touch Communication System.

The Big River resident is one of 22 people in the province living with a battery-operated LVAD that is implanted in patients who have reached end-stage heart failure or are possible candidates for a heart transplant.

Dwayne had his LVAD surgery in Edmonton in 2019, and as long as he requires his mechanical heart, the 58-year-old needs to be diligent in monitoring its  performance.

“Having this service available at RUH helps reduce the emotional and financial stress of always travelling out of province for some of my follow-up care.”

The HeartMate Touch monitoring equipment was one of 23 items purchased last year through the Foundation’s annual HUG (Helping, Understanding, Giving) Fund. Just over $100,000 was awarded to help buy various items, ranging from $600 to $9,700, to enhance RUH’s patients, families, and staff experiences. Other items supported by HUG included a blanket warming cabinet, cell phone charging station locker, sleep chairs, and portable vital sign monitoring machines.

If you care to donate directly to the HUG Fund, please call RUH Foundation at 306.655.1984 or donate online.

Read more inspiring stories in our Spring 2024 Milestones or make your donation now.

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