February is Heart Month, and SHN is home to the regional cardiac centre for Scarborough-Durham and the leader of North America’s largest regional, community-based cardiovascular rehab service. Our exceptional cardiac doctors, nurses, and staff save countless lives each day across our three hospitals.

This month, we chatted with Casey Coates, a donor and volunteer with SHN Foundation, and a grateful patient who experienced the world-class care first-hand.

Casey lived and worked in downtown Toronto for many years before he and his wife started searching for somewhere to raise their three children. They moved to Scarborough in 2007, and the community feel and atmosphere has kept them here ever since.

“My family and I really like the area’s diversity and are proud to call Scarborough home. The quick commute to downtown didn’t hurt either!” says Casey. “This community is a great area to raise my kids, and of course, we have relied on our hospitals over the years. Ranging from stitches for when the kids cut themselves, or X-rays when they had bumps and bruises, we’re familiar with the exceptional level of care the staff at SHN provide.”

And because of these experiences, Casey’s family wanted to give back.

“My family is philanthropic where we can be, and through time, volunteer work, and financially, we’re proud to give back to SHN,” he says.

In 2021, Casey found himself in the emergency department at SHN’s General Hospital with unusual chest pain.

“It was a scary time,” remembers Casey. “And even though things were moving fast, everyone was so excellent and caring. The ER doctors, cardiac physicians, lab techs, and angiogram staff were all true professionals and kept me well informed during my entire hospital stay. Even when I had to be transferred from General to the Centenary site.”

Casey and his family at the CCU.

Casey found out he had a spontaneous coronary artery dissection – or SCAD – which occurs when a tear forms in a wall of a heart artery and can slow or block blood flow to the heart, potentially causing a heart attack, heart rhythm problems or even death.

“They told me SCAD isn’t very common, but it is increasingly happening to people in my age demographic,” explains Casey. “I’ve always been very healthy and reasonably active, so never expected anything like this to happen to me. I’m so grateful for the level of care I received from the team at SHN.”

Casey wanted to share his story to let others know that SHN provides compassionate, world-class care every day – despite having aging hospital facilities.

“A lot of people underestimate Scarborough hospitals because of the area they’re in, but many don’t know the level of expertise that resides here,” says Casey. “SHN is home to a regional Cardiac Care Centre, and they treat everyone who walks through their doors with good care and prompt attention.”

Because of the amazing care he received at SHN, Casey was inspired to give back to Scarborough hospitals.

Casey and his wife, Carol.

“I saw the Love, Scarborough campaign and was very impressed by the message and tone,” he says. “In years past I was involved in the hospital board’s sub-committees and more recently got connected with the Foundation staff and became a member of the Campaign Cabinet. I am very pleased to have the chance to volunteer and contribute to the hospital’s important causes.

If you’ve lived in Scarborough, you have probably benefited from SHN’s health services and hospitals in some ways. If you live in Toronto, you no doubt have a Scarborough connection or story and for those reasons, I encourage everyone to support Scarborough hospitals – through time or money­­ – and give back to the community that helped you.”

To learn more about how SHN is evolving cardiac care for Scarborough, click here.

For more information about SHN’s cardiac services, please visit SHN.ca