Nancy’s Story:

Paying it Forward for Heart Health

For over 25 years, Nancy Greer has participated in and donated to the Uplands Golf Club Annual Heart Tournament as a way to honour her late mother, Lilian Life, and the exceptional care she received from Island Health’s Heart Health program.

“Three of my grandparents, my mother, and my older brother all died from heart disease,” says Nancy. “But at 77, I was golfing four days a week, and vigorously walking or swimming the other three. I was certain that heart disease was never going to catch up with me.”

But, on January 12 of this year, Nancy had just begun her usual walk when she experienced a burning sensation in the middle of her chest that only abated when she stopped to rest. She returned home and had no further pain, but called her doctor, who urged her to go to the Emergency Department if it happened again. The next day, during a round of golf, the burning sensation returned.

Nancy was admitted to the cardiac care unit at Royal Jubilee Hospital.

“The next day, a diagnostic angiogram was scheduled and I found myself on a stretcher under the C-Arm of the fluoroscopic x-ray system—the very piece of equipment the Uplands Golf Club Annual Heart Tournament donations had helped purchase during the two years that I served as the tournament’s co-chair. Talk about paying it forward!”

Nancy learned she would need a quadruple bypass surgery—a major open-heart surgery in which surgeons redirect blood around a section of blocked or partially blocked arteries in the heart. Despite this shocking news, Nancy says she felt grateful and calm knowing that she was exactly where she should be: in a world-class cardiac care facility with equally world-class surgeons, nurses, technicians, and other care team members.

“We are so fortunate to have access to this quality of cardiac care, and I am eternally grateful, not only to the medical team who cared for me, but also to all those who have donated to the Uplands Golf Club Annual Heart Tournament over the years to help ensure that this team has the equipment they need to do their best work,” says Nancy.

During her hospital stay, Nancy says she shared with one of her surgeons three goals she had for after her surgery. First, she wanted to be in Vancouver to hold her first grandson in her arms when he arrived in late March. Second, she wanted to be able to play 18 holes of golf by her birthday at the end of April. Her third and final goal is to play in the 2022 Uplands Golf Club Annual Heart Tournament so that she can express her gratitude in-person.

“I am pleased to report that the first two goals have been achieved, and goal number three is just around the corner,” says Nancy. “Thank you to all supporters of the tournament, and through it, the Heart Health program, for saving my life. You never know who you may be helping when you pay it forward.”

—Nancy, grateful patient, golfer, and proud grandma to Hugo

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the Uplands Golf Club Annual Heart Tournament as well as the 100th anniversary of Uplands Golf Club. 

Year after year, donors, sponsors, players, and volunteers have united to help fund advanced equipment through the Victoria Hospitals Foundation for the Heart Health program at Royal Jubilee Hospital—host to one of the finest cardiac programs in the country.

Through the Tournament, leaders like you have raised over $3 million, improving local cardiac care for all on Vancouver Island. That’s an incredible legacy. Thank you.