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A thousand hours of care

St. Boniface Hospital takes quality to heart

Ken and his wife, Bonnie, with their grandsons, Hunter and Bentley

“By donating to the Foundation, people ensure that health care professionals have the tools they need to save lives and make lives better.”

Ken Dayment’s heart doesn’t work so well. But when it comes to keeping a positive outlook and living the highest possible quality of life, he has the heart of a lion – and the backing of a team of skilled and dedicated professionals at St. Boniface Hospital.

“We have relied on so many people there,” says Dayment, a former service station lessee in Winnipeg and volunteer firefighter in Ste. Anne where he lives. “Because of the people at St. Boniface, I’ve been able to stay at home and enjoy my family.”

Dayment’s cardiac journey began nearly 30 years ago after he experienced a major heart attack. He was only 40 at the time, but the attack was severe enough to compromise his heart’s pumping efficiency – a manageable, but irreversible, condition known as congestive heart failure.

After the initial attack, Dayment left the service station business and took a lower-stress job in Ste. Anne while he focused on managing his health and caring for his family. And even with heart failure, he remained a volunteer firefighter for almost 37 years -over 20 of those years as Chief for the Town of Ste. Anne. He retired in 2015.

“I’ve had a lot of procedures over the years, including by-pass surgery, angioplasty, and stents,” says Dayment of the management of his disease. “In 2015, they did a complicated 12-hour surgery to repair one valve and insert one new mechanical valve. Before I left the hospital, they inserted a pacemaker and a defibrillator. My family now calls me the Bionic Man! The doctors at St. Boniface Hospital never, ever gave up on me. I’ve spent at least 1,000 hours at the hospital over the years – maybe more!”

Dayment continues to work with the hospital’s Heart Failure Clinic to manage symptoms, and he gets support from the hospital’s Palliative Care experts to manage pain. “I have the best quality of life possible with my condition,” he says from his home.

There is no cure for heart failure – and every day is a challenge for patients like Ken Dayment. “The biggest challenge has always been the decline in my independence,” he says. “People used to depend on me, and now I depend on others. It’s remarkable how many doctors, nurses, and health care workers are needed – and how much work is required – to help patients like me as the disease progresses.”

Thanks to the professionals at St. Boniface Hospital, and the donors to St. Boniface Hospital Foundation who help create the conditions for excellence. Ken Dayment raised his family, served as a community leader, and continues to inspire his friends, his brotherhood of firefighters, and especially his family.

“I’m grateful,” says Dayment. “By donating to the Foundation, people ensure that health care professionals have the tools they need to save lives, and make lives better.”

Because of donors like you, patients like Ken can live longer, better lives.

To give a gift to St. Boniface Hospital Foundation, please visit https://www.saintboniface.ca/foundation/en/donate/

*This article was first published in the Spring 2017 edition of Believe, St. Boniface Hospital Foundation’s bilingual newsletter produced twice annually in partnership with St. Boniface Hospital.