When it comes to cardiac health, every second matters. Twelve years ago, Aileen’s mom called her with shortness of breath, chest pains and a radiating pain in her left arm. She was having a heart attack. Quickly, they took her to Surrey Memorial Hospital. But after realizing she needed the specialized care of a catheterization (cath) lab, she had to be diverted outside the city to another hospital.

“In that 20 minute ambulance ride,” Aileen recalls, “40% of her heart muscle had died.” Luckily, they got to the cath lab in time and doctors put a stent in. Aileen’s mom survived her heart attack that day.

It gave Aileen and her family another decade with her mom. “We could’ve lost her at 54 years old, but we didn’t. We got an extra 10 years with her. And together, we made so many memories. She was there for the birth of both my boys… we’re so grateful they got to meet her.” Amidst all this though, for Aileen, there remains the lingering question: if there was a cath lab already in Surrey, could she and her family have gotten more time with her mom? “If there’s one message for the community—it’s to rally, to get together, and donate to this amazing cause. Because I think it will be something that will be life-changing for our community. It’ll give us all a chance to be with our loved ones and have more time with them.”

Help transform cardiac care today

Surrey Hospitals Foundation is working to help residents access the best cardiac specialists, services, and facilities, close to home. The Foundation needs your help in bringing the vision of two catheterization labs to Surrey Memorial Hospital to life. Your donation can save the lives of many, and give families the gift of time to cherish one another longer. Make a difference today.