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

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Report to Entice Donations at TGH

I was chosen to be featured in a well written report to raise donations for the University Health Network, a group of three Toronto Hospitals, one being Toronto General Hospital.
I was very happy with the report and am told it has helped with a large amount of donations. Since the LVAD is still funded through donations alone, fund-raising is very important.
I hope you like the letters below and may one day consider a donation to the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre to help save and better many lives.
(You may need to open the file in another window to zoom or enlarge the pic. Or, if easier for you, send me a message and I will email a copy to you.)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

T Shirt Shop Relocated

I just wanted to let everyone know that the location of my t-shirt shop has changed. This new company has many more products to choose from and a better design program. My other company is still active if you find something you prefer.

Again, I would love to fulfill special requests if you have one. Just send me a message and I will be happy to create a unique product for you.

Check out some of my products on the side bar. Here's the site with a direct link.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Big news!

Well I had a meeting at my work this week and the conclusion is fantastic! I will be starting to work a couple days per week. We'll see how it goes. I'm very excited!

For those of you that don't know what I do, I'm a Civil Engineer. I went to the University of Waterloo and graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Civil Engineer. I was hired right away for a design position in a Transportation Engineering Firm in Kitchener. I felt that my career had really taken off and I was given responsibilities to help me grow as an Engineer-In-Training. I worked for barely over one year when I was diagnosed with heart disease and I haven't worked since then, May 2008.

My workplace has been incredibly supportive and understanding through my entire journey. I have kept in touch with many of my associates and am proud to say that they are definitely good friends.

I am concerned that I will get back to work, get back in the flow and get the call for my heart. Unfortunately, it's just something I have to deal with. It will be a huge benefit for me mentally and emotionally to be able to contribute. I've worked really hard to get where I am and it's frustrating to sit at home and wait for life to begin again.

I can't wait to get back in the saddle, even for just minor responsibilities. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"You are at the top of the list."

Yesterday we had a scheduled appointment at Toronto General Hospital. They do blood work, read Vito (my LVAD), do a physical exam and have a little chat. I just love my transplant/LVAD team. I couldn't ask for better, smarter people. Everything is good. No concerns.

They tell me that I'm at the top of the list. And I have been for quite some time now. I would think since my false alarm in April, maybe before that. Doc also told me that there has been some potential donors for me but they just don't work out. They do several tests and assessments before I even get a call. I think my worst enemy right now is my size.

I also had the pleasure of meeting another VAD patient. She was implanted 6 weeks ago and she looked fabulous! I remember my six week marker. I was not feeling so good and I couldn't straighten my back. I walked like a hunch back for quite a while. It was so wonderful to meet this lady and I wish her the best.

I learned that there are 16 patients with a VAD out of TGH! That's at least double last years volume. TGH will have a clinic day just for VAD patients now. I think it will be a great opportunity to meet with my pump-pals.

TGH is putting in three different types of LVADs now. One being my Heartmate 2, another the Duraheart and lastly HeartWare. Here are a few helpful pics.

Heartmate 2:



My pump-pal Josh From the Bottom of my LVAD found this interesting picture from this site with the different devices. It illustrates the growth of the LVAD. Notice the difference in weight as the VADs progress. Our next major change will be when the VAD is designed to have no exterior power source. Wouldn't that be great?