One out every five visits to Regina’s emergency rooms is cardiac-related. Fortunately for both the patients and their families, the Mosaic Heart Centre at Regina General Hospital (RGH) is a centre of excellence dedicated to helping cardiac patients and their families live better lives.
Steven Hurlburt’s experience with the Mosaic Heart Centre began innocently enough on February 24 of this year.
“I was on my way to Saskatoon for a meeting when I felt light headed and the top part of my chest became really tight,” Steven said. “So, I pulled over on the other side of the Lumsden Hill, chewed two aspirins, waited for things to sort of normalize, and then drove myself to Pasqua Hospital’s emergency department.”
With his wife Tracy at his side, Steven was relieved to learn that he had not had a heart attack or stroke. But he also knew that he was not out of the woods either.
“They reviewed previous tests and told me that I had a heart murmur and that my blood pressure was quite elevated,” Steven explained. “The next thing I knew, I was transferred to the Cardiac Care Unit, at the Mosaic Heart Centre.”
Laying in a bed in the Cardiac Surveillance Unit brought home how serious things were to Steven. “Everyone was very attentive and kind to me but they made it clear that I was there because I probably had a serious heart issue.”
That issue was defined for him when Dr. Jeffrey Booker came in to discuss the results of Steven’s angiogram, performed at the Mosaic Heart Centre’s Catheterization Lab. The test revealed that Steven’s bicuspid aortic valve was badly affected by stenosis (narrowing of the aortic valve), and was operating at only 38 per cent effectiveness. Surgery was scheduled for March 2nd, and was performed by Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Dr. John Tsang, assisted by Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Dr. Ahmad Moustapha and their team.
“I came out of surgery with a new aortic valve and two collapsed lungs but luckily no other heart-related issues,” Steven said. “Just breathing hurt something fierce, but as the folks in Surgical Telemetry told me, effort on my part and the help of the physiotherapists should bring back my lungs.”
Collapsed lungs are not uncommon as a result of open heart surgery, but with diligent work with the physiotherapy team, Steven was sent home on March 8th and is well on the way to a full recovery.
“People may question what sort of a difference is made when they donate to the Hospitals of Regina Foundation,” says Steven. “To my family, friends and clients it meant they still get to have me around, and to me, it means everything. Thank you all.”
“Steven’s story is a great reminder of the importance of investing in the best possible cardiac care for the people of Regina and southern Saskatchewan,” says Dino Sophocleous, president and CEO, Hospitals of Regina Foundation. “The Mosaic Heart Centre is among the best cardiac centres in the country, thanks to Mosaic’s leadership and the support of our community. The Foundation is committed to investing in cardiac programs in our hospitals because local cardiac care means everything to patients like Steven and their families”.