Ben’s story

I’m living proof that your generosity makes a difference.

This is a photo of heart attack patient Ben and his family

I remember thinking clearly “this can’t be happening to me.”

In hindsight however, I was displaying all the classic symptoms, but at that very moment, I was in complete denial.

There was no way I was having a heart attack. I am barely over 50, and I work out almost every day. I eat well and I manage stress effectively. It must be something minor I thought.

There was no way I was having a heart attack. I am barely over 50, and I work out almost every day. I eat well and I manage stress effectively.

Less than an hour later, I almost died.

The doctor thought I was going to be an easy case, especially given my fitness level and overall health. She didn’t expect my artery to be 100% blocked and she certainly didn’t expect to shock me with a defibrillator 15 times, something she had never done before.

My last thoughts were of my family—my wife Paula, my daughter Anna who was away at university and my daughter Rebecca. Rebecca is 26 and has a rare form of epilepsy—one that causes potentially fatal seizures every day. When she was diagnosed as a baby, I made a promise to myself to be here for her every day of her life. Having a near fatal heart attack did not figure into that plan because my family needs me far too much and my promise to them is sacred to me.

The accomplished caregivers at St. Mary’s helped me keep my promise to my family. I would be humbled if you would help them keep theirs to the hundreds of patients they care for every day. An investment in the Cardiac Centre at St. Mary’s will directly benefit thousands of people every year; your family, your friends, and your neighbours. Or perhaps your gift will save the life of a stranger like me.

I am healthy today and I cherish every moment I spend with my family. I hope you will be able to help this year by making a gift to enhance the cardiac diagnostic equipment at St. Mary’s to save even more lives. 

I am living proof that your generosity makes a difference.

I wish you and your loved ones good health.

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