A powerful journey from living with an artificial heart to a heart transplant....

Monday, June 7, 2010

I feel so important!

I had the honour of attending a very important event today. Hosted at Toronto General Hospital, Peter Munk Cardiac Care Centre this event was for a significant debate. The invitation is included below, which describes the debate and significant guests. Click on the link to to see more information about the Munk Debates.

To begin discussing my experience I would like to briefly mention Mr. and Mrs. Peter Munk. Peter Munk is a prominent man for many reasons. One reason being for his donation of $37 million to Toronto General Hospital to fund the Peter Munk Cardiac Care Centre. Without this generous donation for the centre TGH would not have the abilities for cardiac care it has today. Simply put, I would not be here.

I was so excited to meet this kind couple that my Dad and I decided to make a gift to show our appreciation. My Dad is a machinist and very handy with metal and wood. We decided on the words together and he made the plaque, as shown below. It turned out great and I really hope they like this gift and will understand how impactful their generosity is to me, and many people. If you can't read it, it says:

Peter Munk
Cardiac Care Centre

Gift of love
Gift of life
My second chance

Andrea Clegg
LVAD/Transplant Patient 2010

We were lucky enough to snag a photo with Peter Munk. He is a very busy man and I strongly appreciate this moment he took for us. I gave him the plaque but he did not have a moment to open it. He genuinely appreciated the gesture and I'm sure he and his wife will like the gift.

Another man I was honoured to meet was Dr. William Frist. He came to Toronto as a debator from Tennessee. Dr. Frist is a former US Senator and a nationally recognized heart and lung transplant surgeon. As I understand, he has performed over 150 heart transplants. Despite his intimidating list of successes he was very kind and genuinely interested in my LVAD.

We met several other important people but unfortunately I could not snag a photo of everyone. This day passed by so quickly and I had so many other people to thank for their donations. There were more people in that room I wish to convey my appreciation to. I certainly hope to attend an event like this again. Here's a pic of Shaun and I in the new lobby for the Peter Munk Cardiac Care Centre. Don't we look smashing??

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