It was the equipment that was made available to me that made all the difference in terms of getting a proper diagnosis and surgery and recovery.
First when I saw my cardiologist, Dr. Gladstone, he actually drew a picture of an aortic valve – what it was supposed to look like and what mine looked like—and explained to me the function of the valve. He prohibited me from cycling or doing any exercise, or exerting my heart in any way, because the stenosis was so severe.
Due to Fran’s critical condition, her cardiologist ensured that Fran quickly saw the Division Head of Surgery, Dr. Fedoruk, who performed Fran’s surgery the week after seeing her.
My life without this care—I have thought about it many times—I would have slowly deteriorated. My heart would have been working terribly hard. I would have lost most quality of life because I would have been unable to engage in even regular physical activities. So I was able to hold on to my quality of life and actually improve it as a result of the surgery and now I am no longer exhausted by a bike ride, for example.
What I would say to a donor if they were right here is that “every donor counts.” I understand that this is quite expensive equipment but the difference it can make to people’s lives is extraordinary. The availability of ultrasound equipment does save lives. And of course it is helping our local community and it could be a family member or a friend who benefits from this.
—Fran, grateful patient