Cameron Bishop of Stoney Creek takes his cardiac health to heart. He was born with a bicuspid aortic valve and stenosis, potentially life-threatening heart conditions that affect normal blood flow.
Cardiologists regularly monitored him since birth and his condition was never severe enough to require valve-replacement surgery.
In 2016, when Cameron was 16 years old, an ECG revealed that his condition was worsening and he was at increased risk of heart failure. Cameron’s cardiologist referred him to Dr. Richard Whitlock at Hamilton General Hospital, the regional centre of excellence for cardiac care.
“I was expecting to be told that I’d need surgery for a valve replacement,” says Cameron. “Dr. Whitlock suggested the Ross procedure, which I’d never heard of.”
“The nurses and doctors at The General are incredible.”
The Ross procedure, or pulmonary autograft, involves replacing a diseased aortic valve with the person’s own pulmonary valve. Using a person’s own tissue results in the new aortic valve lasting significantly longer. Dr. Whitlock is currently one of only two cardiac surgeons in Ontario with the training to perform the Ross procedure.
Back in action
Cameron’s surgery was successful and he was back on his feet within weeks. Despite missing two months of classes as he recovered, Cameron completed high school with honours and he is currently in college.
Donor support of Hamilton General Hospital Foundation will enhance the care of cardiac patients like Cameron who live throughout south-central Ontario.
“The nurses and doctors at The General are incredible,” says Cameron’s mother, Anna. “We thank them from the bottoms of our hearts.”