A Christmas appeal with ‘heart’

On Monday, Santa himself endorsed the Christmas appeal efforts of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation.
“At the top of the wish list for cardiac patients in Northwestern Ontario is access to angioplasty services close to home,” said the jolly elf.
“Unfortunately, this is a wish we can’t fulfill at our North Pole factory, so I urge the people of Northwestern Ontario to call on the spirit of the season to help save hearts with the gift of angioplasty close to home,” Santa added.
Residents will receive reminders of Santa’s request later this week. Christmas appeal materials from the Health Sciences Foundation will arrive at doorsteps throughout Northwestern Ontario.
Janis Beebe, vice-chair of the Health Sciences Foundation, hopes the Christmas appeal in support of angioplasty will go a long way towards reaching the $1.5-million goal.
“We rely on the generosity of the community at this time of year to help purchase life-saving medical equipment at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre,” Beebe said.
“It is imperative that cardiac patients in our community have quick access to angioplasty and we hope the urgent need will encourage everyone to donate,” she added.
The District of Thunder Bay has the highest rate of heart disease in Canada. Thousands of residents in our community are impacted by the disease and many will one day find themselves in need of angioplasty services.
The Health Sciences Foundation’s Christmas appeal will help to purchase the medical equipment required for a second Cardiac Catheterization Lab at our Health Sciences Centre, expanding the number of angioplasties performed each year from 250 to more than 500.
Without the second lab, hundreds of cardiac patients still will be required to travel to centres outside of our region to receive angioplasty services.
Additionally, quick access to angioplasty service can reduce the amount of damage to the heart in patients who experience heart attacks.
John Fevez was one of the first patients to receive angioplasty at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. He noted a dramatic difference between accessing the life-saving service here at home versus travelling to another centre.
“I was able to have family with me, see familiar faces, and return home sooner, feeling better than before,” he remarked.
“My Christmas wish is that all Northwestern Ontario patients in need can access angioplasty services close to home, and avoid the stress and inconvenience of travel when they are ill.”
Fevez credited his recent angioplasty procedure for his ability to enjoy a healthy, happy Christmas with his family this year.
To mark their support of the Christmas appeal, Fevez, Beebe, and Santa added gold stars to the Christmas tree in the main lobby of the Health Sciences Centre.
With each donation to the Christmas appeal, a star with the donor’s name will be added to the tree.
To help save hearts with the gift of angioplasty close to home, contact the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation at 1-807-684-7107 or visit www.tbrhsf.net
Together, we make a healthier Northwestern Ontario.
Our foundation raises funds to support the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre in the delivery of excellence in acute patient care, teaching, and research for the people of Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario.
The funds support equipment and initiatives to make exceptional care possible for everyone in this community.