Give a Little Life Day


Cardiac Health: Listen To Your Heart

My Hospital, Our Future

Think of your body as a computer. Your brain is both the hard drive and the processor. It’s where everything is stored, all programs, files, memory. The heart, however, is the power supply. And without the power supply, nothing else works. 

We all may know someone who has suffered a cardiac event. From full scale heart failure to a blocked coronary artery, a cardiac emergency is a grave situation and can mean life or death.

The medical teams in the Victoria Hospital are trained and knowledgeable on how to diagnose and stabilize you should you come in with heart attack symptoms. They’re also here for you when you return home post-surgery to help you grow stronger and manage your heart health.

But we need to put the best tools into the hands of our people.

Our radiothon is now fourteen years old! Over 6.7 million dollars has been raised for better health care, right here at home.  This year’s Give a Little Life Day will raise money to purchase new equipment and technology that will help patients who come to us with cardiac failure.

DID YOU KNOW? 100% of your donation stays right here in our community! 

Cardiac Diagnosis & Rehab in Prince Albert.

Shawna Zawerucka & Family

Shawna Had a Heart Attack at 47

Read Her Story of Diagnosis and Recovery

My name is Shawna Zawerucka and I am mom to two amazing daughters ages 26 and 22. But my girls almost lost me, because I suffered a heart attack at 47 years old.

In spring 2016, I was experiencing chest discomfort. Since it felt like heartburn, I started taking tums - but after a week it worsened. I finally went to a walk in clinic. After doing an ECG and while I was waiting, the doctor came in and handed me 2 aspirin and told me to chew them. She said I think you are having a heart attack and the ambulance is on the way. Total shock set in. How could it be a heart attack?!!

At the Victoria Hospital, they quickly performed tests and soon confirmed that it was in fact, a heart attack. They stabilized me and watched me in ICU overnight and sent me to Saskatoon the next morning. There they performed an angiogram and found 2 blockages. They stinted one and after a couple of days, sent me back home to PA. But a week later, I had symptoms again and went back to the Victoria Hospital ER where they discovered something was still wrong. In Saskatoon, it was confirmed that the stint had failed and I needed open heart surgery and a double bypass. Thankfully, after surgery and participating in the wonderful cardiac rehab program in Prince Albert, 2.5 years later and I am strong and healthy once again!

I was told by doctors that heart attacks are often thought to be a man’s disease, but this is not true. I learned that heart attacks kill more Canadian women than men and that it’s the second leading cause of death in Canada.

I wanted to share my story and help spread awareness in our community. Our hospital does not have a cardiology unit or a cardiologist, but we do have doctors and nurses who are knowledgeable and experienced at diagnosing and stabilizing someone having heart failure. If it wasn’t for the doctors and nurses in the Vic’s ER and ICU, I wouldn’t be here today to see my girls get married and hold my first grandchild someday. Please donate generously to Give a Little Life Day this year to help us purchase new technology and equipment for people like me. A heart attack can happen to anyone. And we need to be ready.

Sincerely, Shawna Zawerucka and Family

Neil Headrick

It Couldn't Happen to Me!

Read About How We Almost Lost the "Doc of Rock"

Country Music artist Charlie Major has a song called “It Can’t Happen To Me”.... well, It CAN, and did..

A cold, dark, snowy November morning, heading out the door to work at 4:45AM... something is wrong, very, very wrong... my head is spinning, there is a feeling in my entire chest that can’t really be described, but it is certainly not normal. What I did, is not what I should have done... I drove myself to the hospital.... Doctors and nurses would all tell me that it was NOT a good move...(go in your house and call 911, you moron) is what they were thinking, but I made it to Emergency at the Victoria Hospital... In seconds they took one look at me and put me on a bed and immediately attached wires and sensors, took blood, and were in full emergency mode... The blood tests and equipment eventually came back with the news, that yes, “You have had a Heart Attack”....  disbelief and shock, yes, but by now, I didn’t feel too bad... the pain had subsided and with the comfort of being at the hospital, surrounded by some pretty incredible professionals, I thought maybe that was it.... wrong again, further x-rays and tests determined that a trip to the Cardiac Care Unit in Saskatoon for a Stent was the next chapter. Problem... after a full day of tests and treatment, the weather had deteriorated to Travel Not Recommended... Ambulance is not going... Air? No, no flying either... so, the shipped me off to ICU and with a person by my side ALL night, we waited till morning for the slushy ride to RUH in Saskatoon.... More tests, more needles, more machines, more wires, and more wonderful care, I was off to the Operating Room for a Stent... remarkable operation... a wire shoved up my arm and into my heart, carried a mesh apparatus that when placed into the vein that was blocked, the expanded and let the blood start flowing again. In seconds, I felt wonderful... you don’t know you’re feeling bad until you start feeling good.... Oh, THAT’S what I’m supposed to feel like!

The care and compassion and professionalism of staff of the Vic and RUH, was exceptional.... but they are only as good as their tools, and although all turned out well for me, it could have been faster and safer with new and updated equipment... my experience is now 7 years ago, and since then, technology has advanced and we need to advance with it, with new and updated equipment right here in Prince Albert. That’s where you come in... GIVE to Give A Little Life Day

Anyway, to make a long story short... Yes, Charlie Major.... It CAN happen to me... and it can also happen to YOU.

Neil Headrick

Joe Remai

I'm grateful for my local healthcare!

Read Joe's Story

In 2018 I was complaining to Dr. Ardell that all my friends had a stent but I didn’t get one and why not? This prompted him to say “Let’s check your heart out, it’s about time.” At that point in time I was 63, so that was time to check things out.

We did the stress test with Dr. Ile-Haynes and when I got off the treadmill, I thought “Oh man I’m going to get a star or a pat on the head for sure because I aced this thing.” He was quite concerned about me, he said looking at his machine & graph, I should have been feeling pain either in my chest or an elephant sitting on my chest. I reported neither, finding out later that typically diabetics don’t feel the pain and don’t feel like they have something on their chest. From there, even though I argued with Dr. Ile-Haynes, he said, “No, you’re headed off to Saskatoon for an angiogram, while the surgeon is doing the angiogram and if he finds that you’ve got arteries that are closing up; he will probably put in a stent.”

As it turns out, Dr. Colin Pearce did the operation, he put in a stent and then his comment left me not being quite as frivolous about everything else as I had been. He said, “Good thing you came now because 3 years from now I would probably be seeing you in the morgue.” That scared the hell out of me! I’m really glad to be here and feel like I’ve got a full life ahead of me. So, thanks to Dr.Ardell and thanks to Dr. Ile-Haynes everything turned out.

This Give A Little Life Day, give from the heart for your heart. If it wasn’t for my local physicians and local healthcare, my story would have turned out much differently!

Joe Remai

James Ferchuk

They saved my life!

Read James's Story

I was cutting my lawn when I felt pressure in my left arm up near my shoulder. It was not a very strong pain, so I finished the lawn and it was still hurting. I sat down to rest, but it would not go away. My wife took me into the Victoria Hospital I was taken in right away and given a blood test, which showed the protein that indicates a heart attack. I was shocked; a heart attack never crossed my mind. I was only 43!

I was admitted to the ICU department on Sunday afternoon and was seen by Dr. Ilie-Haynes. I was given a stress test on Wednesday and sent to Royal University Hospital. I had an angiogram done and two stents were put into my right coronary artery which turned out to be 90% blocked. I received a third stent 6 weeks later.

That was 12 years ago and without the nurses and doctors of the Victoria Hospital and the lifesaving procedures and equipment, I would not be alive today. Because of them, I got to see my little girls grow up. I am so grateful to them for giving me my life back.

James Ferchuk

The Equipment:

  • A portable digital radiography x-raymachine: this is a compact apparatus that can be taken to the patient in a hospital bed or the emergency room. A chest X-ray shows the doctor pictures that can help confirm the presence of a valve disorder and provide important detailed information about your condition and its seriousness. Chest X-rays are useful for diagnosing heart failure.  It produces immediate images for medical teams to view with zero wait time.  Less wait time, means quicker treatment plan, less damage to the heart and faster action.
  • Telemetry units: This portable and remote equipment is used once you are on your way back to health. During rehab in our FitLife program in Prince Albert, you will wear a device while being monitored by medical teams as you exercise at the Alfred Jenkins Fieldhouse.  While you walk or run, your blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen levels will be closely watched to ensure that while you exercise your heart, you are safe.
  • Two Echo Ultrasound Beds: These are special beds used by our sonographers. When receiving an ultrasound of your heart, it is important that the patient is comfortable, that the sonographer has access to their patient from all sides for better images and that there are no barriers.  Better images mean more accurate diagnosis. 

Listen LIVE Friday, December 6, 2019 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Broadcast on three Prince Albert Stations:
900 CKBI
Power 99

During the Live Broadcast You Can:

Drop off your pledge in the lobby of the Victoria Regional Hospital during the live broadcast.

Call in your pledge during the Radio-a-thon: Toll Free: 1-855-816-LIFE(5433)

Fax in your pledge during the Radio-a-thon: (306) 765-6120

Download this form and mail to the Victoria Hospital Foundation

Now using our new on-line (Bank Grade Security) DONATE TODAY option you can make your donation using your VISA or MasterCard. You can make a One-Time Donation or you can choose the Monthly Option. This allows you to make a larger donation, over time, and still qualify for the Rewards associated with your card.

Investing in Local Healthcare

Your generous donations will support the Victoria Hospital Foundation’s work, providing funds for specialized equipment, innovative patient care services and upgrading of facilities and replacement of out-dated equipment.


Our Mission

The Victoria Hospital Foundation has as its mission to build awareness of and inspire investment in local health care and the well-being of the people of Prince Albert (SK) and surrounding communities.

Learn More

Contact Us

Victoria Hospital Foundation
Box 3000 - 1200 24th Street W, Prince Albert, SK  S6V 5T4 Canada

Phone: 1-855-816-LIFE or (306)765-6105
Fax: (306)765-6120