Just in Time
Greg is alive because of donors

It seemed like a great idea at the time — relaxing in a hot tub after a full day of snowmobiling. But it nearly killed Greg Thor. He contracted Legionnaire’s disease, a rare and deadly respiratory infection.

By the time he arrived at the Maz, Greg’s liver and kidneys had shut down. His lungs and heart were next.

“We were told he was down to his final two hours,” said his father Gord. “They brought him to the Maz because this was the only place that could save his life. But it was no guarantee.”

One last chance

Highly specialized staff at the Maz put Greg on an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine that took over the functions of his heart and lungs.

Typically, patients stay on ECMO for one to two days. Some patients stay on it for as long as seven to 10 days. Greg was on ECMO for nearly 30 days.

Life-saving care

Fortunately, the team at the Maz was able to provide Greg with the life-saving care he needed not only to survive, but to make a full recovery.

“We prayed for a miracle,” said Gord. “We got four or five miracles. Greg has recovered better than anyone ever thought. They saved his life at the Maz.”

Remarkable recovery

Today, Greg is back working fulltime as a heavy duty mechanic. And back snowmobiling. He is grateful for the carehe received at the Maz.

“I know first hand that the Maz is the best at saving lives,” said Greg. “With the portable ECMO equipment, patients who are as sick as I was will get that level of care immediately.”

If not for the highly specialized care and life-support technology at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, Greg Thor’s snowmobiling trip with friends would have ended in tragedy.




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