Putting the Freeze on Atrial Fibrillation

Harold 'Hap' Stephen
Harold Stephen, donor

Harold ‘Hap’ Stephen is a highly accomplished senior executive, husband and father, and a passionate runner. But on a routine visit to his doctor, he discovered that he had an irregular heartbeat.

Mr. Stephen was sent to the Hazel McCallion Centre for Heart Health at Trillium Health Partners’ Mississauga Hospital site for tests, and—like nearly 350,000 other Canadians—soon discovered that he suffered from atrial fibrillation.

Atrial Fibrillation—The Cause of 15% of Strokes
Atrial fibrillation is a chronic heart condition involving an irregular heart rhythm caused by a faulty electrical disturbance of the heart that can lead to blood clots, heart failure, and other complications, and is the cause of 15 per cent of strokes in Canada.

The Only Electrophysiology Lab between Toronto and Hamilton
Mr. Stephen received his atrial fibrillation treatment at Mississauga Hospital. He was later invited by Trillium Health Partners Foundation to tour THP’s leading Electrophysiology Lab—the only Lab of its kind between Toronto and Hamilton—to get a doctor’s view of how atrial fibrillation patients are mostly cared for.

Many younger atrial fibrillation patients receive catheter ablations—a procedure which seals the faulty electrical area so that it no longer transmits abnormal electrical signals to the rest of the heart. However, the procedure is long and causes some discomfort because patients cannot be entirely anaesthetized.

Cardiac CryoAblation Catheter—“A Game Changer”
Because the procedure causes discomfort, THP determined to introduce a new technology and acquire a CryoAblation catheter. CryoAblation tactically freezes the heart’s faulty tissue so that it cannot transmit electrical pulses, and is a faster, more effective, patient-first treatment technology.

Called “a game changer” by our Electrophysiology Lab physicians, patients experience no discomfort and enjoy faster recovery times.

A Passion for Helping Others
Hap Stephen supports young people—among his other charitable projects. While he was unable to have a CryoAblation procedure himself because of his own age, he was nevertheless moved to assist Trillium Health Partners acquire the CryoAblation catheter for younger people of our community with atrial fibrillation.

This past fall, Mr. Stephen helped THP acquire the CryoAblator through a gift of shares, which is the most efficient and tax friendly method of giving there is.

Thanks to Hap Stephen’s generosity, the Cardiac Health department now has the best technology for treating Mississauga’s atrial fibrillation patients.

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