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We Need Your Support to Raise $8-Million for Advanced Stroke Care

“In a stroke, every second is so important. All those moments that are so precious with your loved ones, they are slipping away with every second that goes by. Every moment matters.”

Dr. Alexsander Tkach, Vascular Neurologist, Medical Director Interior Health Stroke Network

What is a Stroke?

A stroke is an abrupt loss of brain function caused by a sudden blood vessel blockage or rupture in the brain. It can happen at any age, in both men and women. While advancements in acute care, treatment, and rehabilitation for stroke patients have been made in recent years, the grim reality of stroke is sobering:

Strokes rise after age 55,
though they can happen at any age.

Cause of long-term
disability in adults

Cases in the Interior
Health region every year.

Cause of death
in residents of B.C.

Every Moment Matters

When stroke strikes, immediate transport to a hospital offering advanced stroke services is critical. Time is of the essence. Survival and better outcomes are possible when patients have rapid access to advanced stroke care.

Many patients in the southern interior of B.C. and those living in rural and remote areas of the region are extremely vulnerable. While patients suffering stroke in the East Kootenays may be transported to Calgary within the therapeutic window, a person living in the Kootenay Boundary or Okanagan region is rarely able to access the care they need in the lower mainland within the therapeutic window due to geography and transport times.

The Interior Health Stroke Network and Kelowna General Hospital have the capacity and the medical expertise to radically change lives for stroke patients and families.

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The Impact of Stroke?

Rachel & Mark’s Story

“Mark’s stroke came out of nowhere. Within seconds he went from being a healthy, active, fun-loving husband and father to literally fighting for his life. Thankfully, he survived. But that was just the beginning.” – Rachel Skinner

At 49 years old, Rachel’s husband Mark suffered a stroke. He was at work and began to notice he wasn’t feeling right. When his condition kept worsening, he knew he was in trouble. Mark called 9-1-1 and was taken by ambulance to Sparwood Primary Care Centre in Revelstoke. Mark was having a stroke. He was immediately transferred to Kelowna General Hospital, the southern interior’s main referral hub for advanced neurological care.

Last year, over 1,800 patients and families just like the Skinners, experienced stroke.

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Haley & Dave’s Story

“The reality is, I could have lost him. This was a devastating and life changing situation. One day you are living a healthy happy life – biking walking running – now you only have half your body that works. Your ‘old life’ is what you call it now.” – Haley Walker

It was a warm, summer night in August 2020 when Dave began to feel ill. He thought maybe he had food-poisoning. But, after three-days of worsening symptoms – fever, sweats, aches and extreme tiredness – Dave and his wife, Haley, began to suspect more was going on and two days later, he was rushed to East Kootenay Hospital in their hometown of Cranbrook in grave condition. Dave had suffered multiple strokes.

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The Plan to Transform Stroke Care

The KGH Foundation has committed to raising $8 million to support a revolutionary, comprehensive advanced stroke care plan that will radically transform treatment for patients living in the southern interior of BC.

The campaign promises to touch ALL stages of the stroke care continuum, from onset to rehabilitation, research and prevention. The comprehensive nature of this approach to stroke care is truly the first of its kind in BC.

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The ‘Every Moment Matters’ campaign aims to raise $8 million to fund these
much-needed components of an advanced stroke care plan for the southern interior.

We need your help. Please Give.