Close to Her Last Breath

Shana Greatrix poses for a photo

Shana Greatrix from Port Ryerse had trouble catching her breath. Unbeknownst to her, she was dangerously close to losing her life.

“It was allergy season, so I assumed that was the cause of my breathing problems,” says Shana. “But I didn’t get better and my heart rate spiraled out of control.”

Shana’s neighbour drove her to the local emergency department. Her heart rate was at a dangerous 175 beats per minute.

“I was frightened and thought I was going to die. I had no idea what was happening to me.”

Specialized cardiac care

Doctors administered medication to reduce Shana’s heart rate. Requiring specialized cardiac care, Shana was subsequently transported by ambulance to Hamilton General Hospital.

At The General, testing revealed that Shana’s aortic valve was not closing properly, causing blood to leak into her lungs. She underwent urgent open-heart surgery to replace her valve.

“Although I was hesitant about the surgery, the doctors and nursing team did an excellent job of putting my mind at ease. I’m alive today because of my valve replacement.”

The recovery

Following the surgery, Shana worked with an occupational therapist to ensure she was sufficiently mobile and could walk up and down stairs before being discharged home.

“Every dollar that is donated to Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation makes a tremendous difference.”

“Going home and seeing my friends and family was very emotional. I’m so grateful that people like me who live in a rural community are able to receive exceptional cardiac care at Hamilton General Hospital and have a second chance at life.”

Shana required a year to fully recover, but she is back to enjoying hobbies like dancing and travelling.

“Every dollar that is donated to Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation makes a tremendous difference and is vital to ensuring that patients like me continue to receive excellent care.”

Make a vital difference for patients like Shana. Donate today!

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