It occurred in Edmonton, where he decided to form an informal group willing to discuss the concept with others, including health care providers, who believe patients facing the same challenge can benefit from the practical information of those who have successfully dealt with it.
The initiative has already been welcomed by Northern Health CEO Cathy Ulrich.
“You are absolutely right that this sort of peer support is very helpful to people going through this kind of major medical experience,” Ulrich said.
Lantz, whose surgery was done on July 16th, notes that most people needing heart surgery from this area go to either Edmonton or Vancouver for the procedure, and it raises many questions about such things as preparation, travel, and recovery times.
He says he was lucky, because he was able to talk with 2 people who had the same operation and “their experiences removed much of the fear and provided solid, practical information beyond what I’d received from the surgeon’s office.”
He will now be seeking approval from his home medical community on a plan to organize meetings and collect contact information for those willing to share their experiences.
Those contacts would then go to local doctors who can pass them onto patients who are scheduled to face open heart surgery.
For more information you can reach Bruce at 250-264-8888, or email him at [email protected]