Age doesn’t define us, it merely reminds us of our physical limitations.

Lenore Cook knows her physical limitations but certainly is not restrained by it in enjoying an active lifestyle. “At 85, she is vibrant and young at heart.” A wife, mother and grandmother, Lenore defines her age by the number of golf swings, in–the-moment experiences with her friends and family and, yes, the number of countries she and her husband Len can visit by cruise ship.

Lenore was diagnosed in her sixties, while living in London Ontario, with a faulty aortic valve that needed to be monitored for five years. Len and Lenore moved to the Comox Valley in 1999, where the heart problem was carefully managed at St. Joseph’s. Lenore’s life changed in 2002 when it became apparent it was time to undergo surgery for a valve replacement. Not 10 years following that surgery, Lenore was again experiencing a shortness of breath, swelling in the limbs and water retention, all the classic symptoms of congestive heart failure. An echocardiogram (ECG) revealed that the replaced valve was failing. Follow up diagnostic treatment at St. Joseph’s discovered something far worse, an aneurism that was ready to burst.

Had her family physician and cardiac team decided Lenore not fit to withstand another, more strenuous procedure, her outcome would have been far worse. One pacemaker, one replaced valve, another repaired valve and one stent later, and Lenore is right back to leading an active life again. Len calls her the “Bionic Woman.”

Lenore is grateful for her new lease on life. “I feel indebted to St. Joseph’s for the diagnoses and interventions along the way,” praises Lenore. “We are so fortunate to have the treatment and care right here in our own neighbourhood. It’s such a wonderful compliment to go with the level of treatment I had received in Victoria.” Lenore’s story is a beautiful one with a happy outcome and there are many more stories, like hers, that can and should be shared.

With a growing population and aging demographic, heart disease is steadily on the rise. Increasingly each day heart attacks and strokes devastates the lives of patients and their families. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, one in three Canadians will die from heart disease or stroke. Everyday St. Joseph’s Emergency Department moves into action to treat patients with chest complaints.

But heart disease doesn’t have to end lives. Fortunately, today there are many innovative treatments and techniques to help patients like Lenore in preventing to diagnosing, and treating heart attacks and strokes.

Our 2015 Mission

St. Joseph’s Foundation has an exciting mission for 2015! Our goal is to raise $182,500 to purchase this new
innovative cardiac care equipment:

  • Pulmonary Function and Exercise Stress Testing Machines
  • 3 New Overnight Pulse Oximeters (wrist worn)
  • A new Holter Monitor system.

This equipment will provide many patient benefits that include:

  • decreased wait times for treatment
  • ease and comfort in use
  • highly accurate readings
  • faster, more efficient patient testing.

This new equipment will allow the cardiac care unit to reach a new level of technology in diagnosis and monitoring. In turn, this ensures that until acute care services move to the new Comox Valley Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital will continue to fulfill its mandate of providing comprehensive care with compassion to its patients. All this equipment will be available for transfer to the new hospital to support cardiac care services.

A bonus is that this equipment will be capable of connecting to the Island-wide electronic health records system. Patients’ ECG records from other hospitals on the Island and will be available to their local physicians and specialists on a computer network. This means reduced travel time, speedy assessments, and valuable communication between hospitals physicians and staff.

“Having the latest cardiac equipment to treat patients is critical to providing great care and saving lives,” explains Jane Murphy, President/CEO of St. Joseph’s General Hospital. “St. Joseph’s must continually update the equipment and technology to ensure that the people of the Comox Valley receive the very best care today and though the transition to the new hospital in 2017.”

Because of the generosity of donors to our Hospital Foundation, St. Joseph’s delivers quality and diverse health care throughout the Comox Valley and surrounding communities.

Please consider supporting this 2015 mission by kindly returning your donation form and gift in the envelope provided, along with your ornament that will beautifully help decorate our Christmas Tree in the hospital main lobby. We wish to sincerely thank you for your thoughtfulness. From our hearts and home to yours, St. Joseph’s General Hospital wishes you and your beloved a wonderful Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year.

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