It’s no understatement to say there was a whole lot of heart at last night’s Libin Institute Bash at the Telus Spark. More than 320 clinicians, researchers, staff, trainees and their guests turned out for the sold-out event at the science centre which was hosted in conjunction with Adults Only Night.
Some snapshots from last night.
It was an evening filled with colleagues connecting with each other, recognizing the tremendous impact of their collective work in cardiac sciences and celebrating the inspiring story of patient Scott Ouellette’s journey from heart attack to heart transplant.
After the private reception, cardiac surgeon Dr. Paul Fedak gave an eye-opening public presentation about innovative heart technologies ranging from ventricular assist devices (VAD) to bioengineering which is generating new muscle to improve heart function.
Then, Ouellette followed with a moving account of what it was like to have a heart attack at 28 which left his heart severely damaged. He was given a VAD which kept him alive for 113 days, earning him the “Tinman” nickname. Discharged with the VAD, the ambitious athlete even played a round of golf, while he waited for his heart transplant.
He expressed deepest thanks to his family, who were in attendance, and all the various doctors, nurses, staff and most importantly, the organ donor who saved his life. It was a powerful story which struck a chord with so many in the room and brought to the forefront of why considering organ donation matters.
After the formal part of the night, there was much excitement in the air as the Libin crowd mixed with the public event and explored the hands-on exhibits in the foyer as well as the galleries. But the place to see and be seen last night was upstairs in the Being Human gallery around the feature exhibit containing Ouellette’s actual VAD, hockey helmet and scrapbook sit.
It was truly a successful evening where it was apparent how the team effort of various health care providers, institute staff and community supporters are significant in making a difference in patients’ lives. Thanks to everyone who came out and the organizing committee and volunteers who made the evening a further success! We’re already looking forward to next year’s event.