Local family steps up to match all donations to KGH Foundation's 'Day of Giving'

The KGH Foundation Day of Giving, on April 25, calls to the community to support excellence in healthcare. Funds this year will go towards the KGH Foundation’s campaign to complete the cardiac program with the addition of Advanced Heart Rhythm Services. 

It’s a cause all too familiar for Darrell and Margaret Porubanec, who witnessed their youngest son Trevor, just 22 years old at the time, fall to the floor unresponsive, later to be diagnosed with a life-threatening heart rhythm condition. 

“It’s called Brugada Syndrome, and it causes the heart to race beyond its ability to pump blood,” explains Margaret. “As a parent you want to keep your children safe and protected, so when Trevor collapsed, I called 911 and started to administer CPR, but felt utterly helpless.”

Darrell and Margaret, with the support of their sons Trevor and Murray, will be matching all donations that come in on the KGH Foundation Day of Giving, April 25. Every call, text and online or in person donation will be doubled, thanks to this incredibly generous family. 

Now serving as the largest referral hospital for specialized care in the BC interior, Kelowna General is no longer just a community hospital. Of the hospital’s 400 beds, an estimated 100 are occupied by patients from out of town, many of them receiving care for cardiac conditions. 

With help from the community, the KGH Foundation has its sights set on completing the cardiac program with one final service: Electrophysiology. 

It’s a term relatively unknown, and it refers to heart rhythm, also known as the heart’s ‘electrical’ system. When a cardiac episode occurs, be it a heart attack or cardiac arrest, specialists look to either the heart’s vascular or ‘plumbing’ system, or the heart beat itself. Patients with heart arrhythmias often experience irregular heart rhythm, either too fast or too slow, which can lead to sudden cardiac death. 

Currently, all patients requiring heart rhythm treatment, like Trevor Porubanec, must wait for a bed to become available in Vancouver or Victoria, a wait which takes its toll on the patient and their family.

Trevor required an Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator (ICD) to be placed inside his body, so that should another episode occur, the ICD could restart his heart instantly. And soon, with the addition of an Electrophysiology Lab, patients like Trevor can receive the specialized care they require, right here at KGH. 

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