It’s Spirit Day. The Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation is calling on the community to help enhance cardiac care in the north.
The goal is to raise $50,000 dollars by 6 p.m. this evening.
The money will go towards building an ultrasound suite with Echocardiogram machines in a Regional Cardiac Centre.
“If you have a heart murmur, or if you have a heart attack, heart failure, if you have shortage of breath, all these things will lead to some cardiac diagnostics,” says Dr. Haidar Hadi, a Consultant Cardiologist and Internist for Northern Health, “one of them is cardiac ultrasound, or Echocardiographic.”
Due to a shortage of ECHO ultrasounds at the University Hospital, wait times can extend up to a year.
It’s why Jessica Storozinski has to make regular trips to Vancouver. “I was diagnosed with Long QT syndrome when I was 21 years old. It’s a disease of the hearts electrical activities. So basically it causes arrhythmias, and sometimes the arrhythmias are so bad that it just stops your heart.”
The 24-year-old had a defibrillator implantation in Vancouver. Now, Storozinski makes regular trips to the lower mainland to get checkups. “I go to Vancouver every year. At least every year. I have had issues with my pacemaker and infections so I have had to get shipped back down to Vancouver a few times.”
Just being able to get treatment at home would mean so much. “When I was first diagnosed, my boyfriend was in school. I was in Vancouver so he couldn’t come see me, and that was really hard because he is a really important person to me and I couldn’t have him there for me. Just being able to recover in the comfort of my own home and not having to wait, book days off work. It’s a three day thing at least you have to book off work. Spending money on hotels is expensive.”
It will take a few years to open a Cardiac Centre in the north, but Storozinski knows it will be well worth the wait.