Bedtime Story

A targeted donation ensures patients rest comfortably

Shortly before Christmas, 2017, Dave Broderick suffered heart failure and went into cardiac arrest. Surgeons at the University of Alberta’s Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute performed two open-heart surgeries that saved his life.

His recovery time was two months. The care and attention he received by doctors and medical teams was outstanding. The hospital beds he practically lived in for much of that time? Not so much. Especially the bed after he was transferred out of intensive care.

“We know from research that part of the healing journey is dependent on sleep,” says Mishaela Houle, Executive Director of the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute. For Broderick, sleep was an endless challenge, and shifting his position only made it worse.

When he returned home, Broderick remembered the roommates he had left behind — fellow patients who were also experiencing longer hospital stays, and the thousands of patients who would be there for years to come. So, he took action.

After consulting with his wife, Alice, and his three brothers with whom he is co-owner of Trail Appliances, Broderick and his family donated nearly $600,000 to the University Hospital Foundation for the purchase of 38 new hospital beds for the entire unit he stayed in at the Mazankowski. And not just any old beds. The very best hospital beds money can buy — designed with “Smart” technologies, and to be as comfortable as possible for patients who spend up to 18-20 hours a day in them. Comfort and rest is important for recovery — and no one knew that better than Broderick.

“Many times I thought to myself how different this would be if I was home in my own bed,” says Broderick. “But that wasn’t an option. So for all the patients who have prolonged stays at the hospital, they now have more comfortable new beds to recover in.”

“Our beds are used every day, by hundreds of patients,” says Houle. “When people like Dave step up and do something like this, it’s amazing.”

The University Hospital Foundation is one of the few philanthropic organizations that helps donors designate how they would like their gifts to be used, whether to a specific program at the hospital or to a research area of interest.

In fact, nearly half of all donations the Foundation receives are “donor designated”, meaning that donors can make contributions in really personal and meaningful ways.

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