Donna Pento doesn’t want to anybody else to have to leave the city to get life-saving cardiac surgery.
Three years ago, the Thunder Bay woman had to travel to Hamilton for triple-bypass surgery and shared her story at the launch of the Our Hearts at Home Cardiovascular Campaign on Wednesday at the Victoria Inn.
The goal of the campaign is to raise the final $2.5 million of the $14 million needed to make cardiovascular surgery available in Thunder Bay.
Pento said just hearing she had blocked arteries that required surgery was upsetting and then she was told she would have to travel out of town for the procedure.
“I had no idea,” she said. “I thought I would be able to have the surgery here in Thunder Bay. That’s pretty shocking.”
Pento then had to wait to find out when and where the surgery would happen. She eventually learned she would be heading to Hamilton and with the dates set, she made her travel plans.
Then her mother suffered a medical emergency and “everything changed.”
“I was very close to cancelling my surgery because I just didn’t want to leave my mom behind,” she said. “She has made a full recovery and I did leave knowing friends and family would be here to help her through it.”
See the full story in the print and digital editions of The Chronicle-Journal.