Thursday, February 02, 2012
London Health Sciences Centre
LHSC celebrates 600th heart transplant
Thanks to successful heart transplant surgery performed at London Health Sciences Centre, Desmond Dias has a new lease on life. He also has the honour of making history as his surgery marked the 600th cardiac transplant at LHSC's Multi-Organ Transplant Program. This milestone means the program has performed the most heart transplants of any centre in Canada.
"I am truly overwhelmed and grateful for my new heart. I was a very sick man with limited time to live and the extraordinary health care team at LHSC, as well as the donor's family, have given me great hope for a very happy and healthy future," says Dias. "I cannot wait until summer, to golf with my children and travel with my family!"
Dias' heart transplant surgery was led by a team of LHSC physicians including Drs. Mac Quantz, Bernie Mezon and Stuart Swinamer as well as transplant donation specialists, Jane Drew and Michael Bloch.
"The entire LHSC organization is proud of our transplant program and its continued commitment to advancing the standard of care provided to our patients while remaining a medical leader in our region, across Canada and beyond," says Bonnie Adamson, LHSC President and Chief Executive Officer. "These efforts truly embody LHSC's vision of exceptional experiences, extraordinary people and engaging partnerships."
LHSC's first heart transplant was performed in 1981 under the direction of surgeon Dr. Neil McKenzie and cardiologist Dr. Bill Kostuk. Today, the program continues to be a leader in patient care and innovation.
"As one of the first heart transplant surgeons in Canada, I'm pleased that so many of our patients have done well over the years and have benefited from the 'gift of life,'" says Dr. McKenzie. "We've accomplished a number of milestones, and look forward to helping our patients in years to come."
One of Dr. McKenzie's earliest heart transplant patients was Ken Gaston, then a 23-year-old student. Today, 29 years later, Gaston continues to thrive and live a full and rewarding life.
"They say the greatest gift you can receive is another day of life. Thanks to the heart donor and their family, to the doctors, nurses and staff at LHSC, I have received more than 10,000 days and I look forward to 10,000 more. For that I thank them, with all of my heart," says Gaston.
Corporate Communications and Public Relations London Health Sciences Centre 519-685-8500 ext 77642
Call LHSC Switchboard at 519-685-8500 and ask to page the communications consultant on-call.
LHSC Media web site: www.lhsc.on.ca/media