Gratitude. This simple word lies at the core of the Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation’s recent generosity. It is why they chose to make a new $1M gift to VGH, to augment their past philanthropic support of VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation and the stroke team at VGH.

“In our family, we experienced first-hand the anxieties and apprehensions of ill health,” says Hamid Eshghi, President, Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation and cabinet member of the Foundation’s Brain Breakthroughs campaign. “Throughout our journey, we had the phenomenal VGH Stroke team by our side. We want to continue in my uncle’s footsteps with the family foundation’s support for stroke.”

VGH is where the sickest patients across BC receive highly specialized, life-saving care. If you suffer a complex and potentially deadly stroke, or your spine was injured in an accident, there is no better place than VGH to get your life back.

“The truth is, we could not do what we do without the generosity of donors like the Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation,” says Dr. Phil Teal, Head of Neurology at Vancouver Acute. “They empower us to experiment, adopt and disseminate new models of care so that more people across our province get the help they need at the time they need it.”

Look no further than innovations like “telestroke”. Years ago, before telestroke existed, patients from remote and rural areas had to wait weeks for a referral to VGH. With a disease like stroke where every second counts, that was a problem.

Today, thanks to donor support, VGH provides telestroke care to an expanded geographical area that includes Peace Arch, Chilliwack, Powell River, Sechelt and Smithers, and there are plans to improve coverage and build a more sustainable relationship with Northern Health as well.

The Mowafaghian family wanted to make sure pioneering innovations like this get the support they deserved. And their generosity is touching other key priorities at VGH like Dr. Brian Kwon’s world-renowned research in acute spinal cord injury.

“People who are paralyzed by this catastrophic injury should have access to the most advanced technologies and cutting-edge discoveries in the field when they are brought to VGH,” says Dr. Kwon, Marcel Dvorak Chair in Spine Trauma at VGH. “I am incredibly thankful to the donors whohave helped to make us a world-class centre for spinal cord injury, and to those like the Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation who will propel us to a whole new level of excellence.”

The Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation’s act of gratitude has come full circle. Their generosity reverberates across communities and sparks new waves of philanthropic giving so that all of us British Columbians get the best of care in times of greatest need now and for generations to come.

In memorial of Dr. Djavad Mowafaghian, who passed away in July 2022.