The Heart Institute’s Urgent Equipment Needs: How Our Community is Stepping Up

On January 5, 2015, shovels broke ground on the largest expansion in the history of the Heart Institute.  Fast forward 2.5 years and the building frame, walls, and windows are up which means that 145,000 sq feet of new operating space is nearing completion.  As teams of doctors and nurses prepare for the big move in April 2018, the community is doing everything they can to make sure that essential life saving tools are waiting for them when they arrive.

Donations by phone, mail, and online continue to demonstrate that the philanthropic spirit is very much alive in Ottawa and the surrounding region.  As the community hears about the Heart Institute’s need for equipment, they are responding as only the people of this region would – generously and from the heart.

One man in particular, Jack Keyes, has gone above and beyond to help ensure the doctors and nurses have the vital equipment they need to treat thousands of patients each year.  Jack, a life-long resident of Gananoque, was first introduced to the Heart Institute when his brother, Richard, was a heart patient.  Grateful for the care Richard received and witnessing the care given to so many other patients, Jack decided that he would purchase a new piece of equipment for the Heart Institute each year.

In 2016/2017 alone, the Heart Institute received more than 220,000 patient visits. Jack knows the impact equipment can have for those patients and how crucial these purchases are for the new clinical tower.  This year, Jack gave an incredible $100,000 for the Heart Institute to buy a new Portable Heart Lung System.  These systems, essential to the daily operation of the Institute, monitor important blood parameters including blood oxygen saturation and hemoglobin, as well as arterial and venous blood temperature- essentially these machines are like a guardian angel watching over each patient.  When asked what he hopes his generosity will accomplish, Jack responds, “My chief priority is ensuring the new building is equipped to save as many lives as possible.  Second, I hope my contributions will inspire others to give back as well.”

Although the new clinical tower is nearing completion, this is not where the story ends. In fact, it is after April 2018 when the true work will begin. Thanks to donors like Jack, the Heart Institute is on a path to success. However, there is still much more that needs to be done, so that when the doors open and the lights go on, the Heart Institute is ready for the next chapter.

With just a few months to go, the excitement is palpable – for both staff and the community. With visionary leaders like Jack giving transformational gifts we know that the community is stepping up in a big way.

“We make a living by what we get, but make a life by what we give”. – Winston Churchill

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