A heartbeat is the rhythm of life. But what happens when your heartbeat is irregular?

For cardiac patient Peter Orr, and thousands of other Canadians, atrial fibrillation (AF) can significantly impact their daily life.  AF is the most common type of irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) in which blood clots can form, putting people at higher risk for stroke, heart failure, and other heart problems. This is why having innovative specialists right here at home makes all the difference for patients as they learn to manage their AF diagnosis. It did for Peter.

“My friends told me that if I had a heart issue, the first place I should go is VGH. They were right. The treatment was just amazing – from the level of detail they took to understand what was going on with me, the pace with which I was admitted through emergency, and the level of expertise from the doctors treating me – I knew I was in good hands.”

Peter Orr, AF patient

Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) is one of the top referral sites for British Columbians affected by AF. This is in large part due to VGH’s talented people, like Cardiac Electrophysiologist Dr. Jason Andrade. He is recognized on a global scale for his work in AF interventional treatment and continues to push the boundaries in his field.

Under Dr. Andrade’s leadership, the team at VGH is innovating cardiac arrhythmia research and care. They were the first team in Western Canada, and the second in the country, to perform pulsed field ablation – a novel technique that precisely targets tissues and reduces collateral damage to other organs around the heart. This treatment is safer and more effective than standard ablations as it creates a stronger lesion, reducing the need for future surgeries. Without the support of donors, these advancements would not be possible.

Thanks to philanthropic support, Dr. Andrade and his team are able to expand their research. VGH has led multiple research programs that have resulted in changes in AF practice. The most recent study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the cardiac procedure known as cryoablation is more protective against long-term heart-related disease than conventional medication. While this is a significant contribution to AF, there is still a long way to go.

“The cardiac research we do at VGH has changed the lives of thousands of patients. I hope that we can continue to make key advances in cardiac healthcare to improve the lives of British Columbians, and other patients across the country,” says Dr. Andrade.

Philanthropy is key to removing obstacles and accelerating the efforts of VGH’s internationally-renowned cardiac sciences team. By investing in VGH’s cardiologists, they can improve outcomes for patients like Peter and transform cardiac diagnosis and treatment. And with your help, our Heart of Cardiology campaign aims to do just that.

The VGH Division of Cardiology has a bold plan to build a hub of unprecedented expertise for now and generations to come. They will nurture emerging leaders, attract top talent and retain experienced physicians right here in Vancouver.

By contributing to the Heart of Cardiology campaign, you can provide vital resources to drive world-first studies and spark revolutions in care that put Vancouver on the map. With your support, VGH can continue to invest in people – the beating heart of cardiology – and move closer to a world where heart disease can be prevented.

Donate today.