Matters of the heart

Understanding and improving women’s heart health

Heart health is vital – but doctors continue to struggle with women’s heart disease.

Because women experience heart disease differently from men, it’s harder to adequately diagnose, treat, and support them. And this leads to dire results: women in Canada are unnecessarily suffering and dying from heart disease.

Kim Clermont, a St. Boniface Hospital cardiac patient, is just one of many women who has had to face the unexpected and stark realities of cardiac disease.

Last spring, after experiencing some troubling symptoms of nausea and fatigue, Clermont was encouraged by colleagues to take an ambulance to St. Boniface Hospital. They thought she was having a heart attack – and they were right.

Clermont said that, on the surface, she didn’t believe she was having a heart attack; but at the back of her mind, she feared that was exactly what was going on.

The otherwise healthy 54-year-old required a quadruple bypass surgery, performed by Dr. Yamashita at St. Boniface Hospital.

As a patient recovering from cardiac surgery, Clermont received a special heart-shaped pillow, lovingly made by Bell MTS volunteers, to help in her recovery. Six months later, she still uses it.

“The care and compassion I received while recovering at the Asper Institute was amazing. I can never say thank you enough for what was done for me and my family,” Clermont said.

*Clermont spoke more about her experience at St. Boniface Hospital on The Health Report on Sunday. Co-hosts Greg Mackling and Vince Barletta, President & CEO of St. Boniface Hospital Foundation, also learned how to make heart pillows (you can check out the video on our Facebook page!).

Women’s heart health is a significant research priority at the Hospital. Every year, more than 56,000 people depend on St. Boniface Hospital for cardiac care. With support from donors like you, the Hospital can provide the best possible care for patients receiving major surgeries and minor procedures by giving a Gift of Hope.

Help support women’s heart health initiatives today.