2022 Holiday Campaign

2022 Holiday Campaign

“Everyone at GBGH was absolutely amazing and so comforting. They saved my life and got me to the regional cardiac centre for the specialized care I needed.”

~ Frank Vatalaro

It was 4:00 a.m. when 53-year-old Frank Vatalaro arrived at the Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) Emergency Department in cardiac distress.

Frank hadn’t been well all day, suffering from indigestion. But when he woke up that night feeling like there was a noose wrapped around his chest and back, getting tighter and tighter, his wife Jennifer rushed him to the hospital right away.

Within minutes of Frank coming in the door, the care team, including Dr. Marty McNamara, was alerted that there was a critical patient with a suspected heart attack. The team worked together to stabilize Frank, run blood tests and administer medications to stop further damage to his heart.

When the results came in it was clear Frank was having a massive heart attack and he’d gotten to GBGH just in the nick of time. If he had waited even a few more hours, he wouldn’t have survived.

Thankfully though, Frank did get to GBGH in time. And after stabilizing him, the team was able to arrange an urgent transfer to the regional cardiac centre where Frank underwent an angiogram and had four stents put in to open blockages in his heart. Yet, Frank most likely wouldn’t have made it there if he hadn’t come to GBGH when he did.

That’s why the support of our donors is so critical. As the community’s first point of care in diagnosing and providing acute care for both seasonal and full-time residents, GBGH will always be here for you if you ever need us.

But today, we need you to be here for patients like Frank.

Close up of a working Cardiac Monitor

Currently, our hospital needs to purchase three ECG machines. An ECG machine gives us a quick “snapshot” of what is going on with a patient’s heart, at that particular moment. It’s a critical diagnostic tool, but our current machines are 11-years old and at the end of life, experiencing frequent breakdowns. We must purchase replacements right away.

patient hooked up to a piece of medical equipment

In addition, we also need to purchase 11 cardiac monitors. A cardiac monitor provides a continuous “video” of the patient’s heart, at all times and then relays this real time data to the Central Monitoring System at the nurses’ station so that we immediately know if a patient’s condition changes. This machine was critical to Frank’s care, as well as for monitoring hundreds of ED and ICU cardiac patients every year.

Together this equipment comes at a price tag of $700,000 – a goal that can only be met with the continued investment of our dedicated community today. But the end result is that we can save more lives.

Frank is living proof of this, and today, Frank is doing much better. He recently opened a café in Midland with his wife Jennifer and he’s eagerly looking forward to an upcoming trip in the new year. Today, he has a second chance at life and he’s deeply grateful for the comfort and expert care that he received.

Will you make a special gift to our 2022 Holiday campaign to help purchase urgently needed ECG machines and cardiac monitors so that we can continue to provide urgent care for everyone who needs us? 

We invite you to take a moment to share the name of someone you would like to honour with your special holiday gift (GBGH team member, a loved one, etc). In recognition of your generosity, we will hang a heart ornament with your message on the tree in the lobby at GBGH. Thank you!