When Kara Marchand speaks about the quality of cardiac care in Regina’s hospitals, she’s speaking from first-hand experience. She’s not only the vice president, finance and administration, with Hospitals of Regina Foundation, she’s also someone who received life-saving care in our hospitals.
Kara’s story begins in May of 2019 when, at only 45 years old, she required five bypasses to repair narrowed blood vessels leading to and from her heart.
“I had been feeling off for a while,” Kara explains. “At first I thought it was the flu. But, on May 13th my condition deteriorated rapidly, to the point where I became incoherent. My teenage son called an ambulance, which got me to the Regina General Hospital (RGH) just in time for my heart to stop.”
A frantic six minutes of CPR was followed by a battery of tests in the intensive care unit, where the decision was made to send Kara for immediate surgery and treatment at RGH’s Cardiac Care Unit, in the Mosaic Heart Centre.
“It wasn’t a surprise to encounter heart problems,” Kara admits. “My dad had a heart attack and a couple of his siblings also required cardiac care. We still don’t know for certain if I actually had a heart attack, but the doctors told me that it was just a matter of time before I experienced one.”
Kara spent the remainder of May in the hospital, where she gained a deeper appreciation for the work of our medical teams. Later in 2019 she had a defibrillator implanted. This is a device that sends an electric pulse or shock to the heart to restore a normal heartbeat, in the event her heart stops again.
“Everyone was fantastic,” Kara says. “From my surgeon, Dr. Stephen Korkola, my cardiologist Dr. Payam Dehghani and all the staff, the level of care was incredible. I left with a new appreciation for how fortunate we are to have a facility like the Mosaic Heart Centre in southern Saskatchewan.”
Kara’s experience may not have led directly to her joining the Foundation staff in July of 2022, but she’s grateful for the opportunity to contribute directly to successful outcomes for others in southern Saskatchewan.
“I’m thankful to be part of this amazing team at Hospitals of Regina Foundation,” Kara confides. “It’s very rewarding to know your work creates such a positive impact in your community.”
Today, in addition to her work at the Foundation, Kara is busy raising her two children and is thankful (personally and professionally) for the support of the Foundation’s many donors, volunteers and other partners.
“We’re so grateful to have Kara as a member of our team,” says Dino Sophocleous, president and CEO of the Foundation. “In addition to her contributions leading our finance team, she’s also living proof of the importance of supporting the highest quality cardiac care for the people of southern Saskatchewan.”