Patient Stories

The Need For Cardiac Excellence

Pauline Leipert

As a past Home Lottery Grand Prize winner and avid supporter of the Hospitals of Regina Foundation Home Lottery, Pauline Leipert has always understood the importance of the support the Lottery provides to local health care. When an unexpected health issue arose in late 2019, she would gain an even greater appreciation for our world class medical teams and the care they provide here in Regina.

While undergoing her annual physical checkup in October 2019, Pauline mentioned to her family physician, Dr. Stewart McMillan, that while out walking she felt a small pressure in her chest and her heart had felt slightly rapid. After completing the physical, Dr. McMillan suggested doing a quick ECG which revealed a cardiac abnormality and he immediately recommended Pauline visit the ER.  

“Dr. McMillan’s facial expression was immediately concerning when performing the ECG. He is a fabulous man and doctor, and very thorough, so I knew he had found something wrong.” Pauline says. “I’m so grateful that he took the time to perform that test instead of just brushing it off or waiting.”

Pauline was immediately admitted to the Regina General Hospital and had an angiogram performed by Cardio-Thoracic surgeon, Dr. Ahmad Moustapha and Cardiologist, Dr. Payam Dehghani. The angiogram showed that Pauline had 3 blockages to her heart and would need to undergo heart surgery to clear them. She spent the next week in the hospital getting prepped and ready for surgery. Just before the procedure, the anesthesiologist, Dr. Ryan Lett, noticed that Pauline’s iron levels were extremely low which gave him some reservation about the surgery going forward at that time. Pauline’s low iron levels could hinder her recovery and Dr. Lett made the recommendation to wait one month.

“I truly believe that Dr. Lett decision to wait a month in order to increase my iron levels is the reason I came through this procedure so well.” Pauline explains. “In that month I was able to increase my physical activity and lung capacity, receive iron transfusions and follow my doctor’s recommendation to really prepare my body for the operation.”

In January of 2020 Pauline underwent open heart surgery and Dr. Moustapha would end up clearing a total of five blockages to Pauline’s heart. It was an incredibly difficult procedure that Pauline says went as smoothly as possible thanks to the amazing doctors at the Mosaic Heart Centre and the advanced technology they had at their disposal, because of funding from Hospitals of Regina Foundation. Pauline is now back to walking and being physically active but is conscious of her health and no longer takes it for granted.

“The whole medical team from top to bottom are just so amazing at what they do. They were so professional, yet comforting and caring.” Pauline says. “I can honestly say I received the best care I believe was possible. I can’t thank the medical teams and the Hospitals of Regina Foundation enough for the gift they’ve all given me.”
“Heart disease is the number one cause of death in Canada for women over the age of 55 but most women are unaware of the risk. 

Stories like Pauline’s highlight the importance of investing in the best possible cardiac care for people in southern Saskatchewan,” says Dino Sophocleous, president and CEO, Hospitals of Regina Foundation. “Cardiac care is a priority for the Foundation and we intend to continue investing in it to help our community live better lives.”
  • The Need For Cardiac Excellence
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