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Patient Stories

Crossing the finish line with a healthier heart

Terry Babcock

When 71-year-old Terry Babcock crossed the finish line at the Cardiac Care 5K Walk/Run in May 2017, he was greeted by cheers and high fives, especially by the Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) doctors and nurses. “They greeted me and told me how happy they were to see me up and around,” Terry remembers.

The Annual Walk/Run is organised by CCU staff. Funds raised at the event go to Hospitals of Regina Foundation, and will be invested in new technology for the CCU at Regina General Hospital (RGH), and the CCU Nurses’ Education Fund.

Luckily for cardiac patients, like Terry, the CCU is in the Mosaic Heart Centre at RGH. Hospitals of Regina Foundation helped establish the Centre in 2007 thanks to a generous donation from The Mosaic Company. It is a key centre of care where patients can receive effective and timely healthcare, locally.

Just 18 months before the 2017 run, Terry spent time in the CCU at RGH. It was Dec. 1, he had returned from Winnipeg where he and his sons watched the Edmonton Eskimos win the 103rd Grey Cup. Terry was unpacking from the trip when he felt faint and needed to sit down. Suddenly, he passed out on his garage floor.

Fortunately, his neighbour was outside, heard the commotion, and called the ambulance which arrived quickly. Or, so Terry was made aware of later.

“I was told most of what happened after the fact because I was unconscious at the time,” he says.

The doctors determined it was Terry’s heart and that he needed bypass surgery. Bypass surgery is performed to improve blood flow to the heart when there is a blockage in the arteries. Doctors took a piece of blood vessel from Terry’s left leg to create a detour, or bypass, around the blocked portions of his arteries.

The doctors did three bypasses and sent him to recovery. But Terry started bleeding again and was sent back to the operating room for a fourth bypass.

“The doctors weren’t sure I was going to make it and suggested my family come to say their goodbyes,” Terry remembers.

Terry spent three weeks in the hospital, but it wasn’t until he was well on the road to recovery that he was told how serious his condition had been.

I’m very grateful for the care I received from the doctors and nurses at the Mosaic Heart Centre. They provide great care," he says. “Even when they ask you to do things you don’t want to do, or think you don’t want to do, they explain why and what the results will be. I can’t say enough good things about them.

Today, Terry has lost weight, he exercises, watches what he eats, and enjoys spending time with his four grandchildren.

Dino Sophocleous, president and CEO of the Foundation says, “This community should be very proud to have such an outstanding cardiac facility. Effective and efficient health care needs to be available locally.” He says the Mosaic Heart Centre continues to provide top-quality care because of the ongoing support from southern Saskatchewan. “We are grateful to our community. Together we are helping to make so many lives better.”
 
  • Crossing the finish line with a healthier heart
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