Calgary

Red Deer man pushes for improved cardiac treatment in city

Tom Skoreyko recently went to the hospital to visit a relative and was handed a petition calling on the government to fund the lab, now he's helping spread the word.

Doctors have been pushing for a catheterization lab for years and Tom Skoreyko wants to help

The Red Deer Regional Hospital doesn't have a cardiac catheterization lab, something doctors there want to change. (Red Deer Regional Health Foundation)

Doctors in Red Deer have been pushing to get a life-saving catheterization lab in the central Alberta city for years, and now they're getting some help from a determined 83-year-old. 

Tom Skoreyko recently went to the hospital to visit a relative and was handed a petition calling on the government to fund the lab. 

The life-saving heart treatment is currently only available in Calgary and Edmonton. 

So far he's sent the petition, and an information package, to about 40 towns in central Alberta in an effort to raise awareness.

"You can't lift or handle a five-tonne rock by yourself, you've gotta get some help," said Skoreyko."And that's what the doctors need. I mean, they've been talking about it for quite a while, but it's not getting anywhere."

AHS report supports lab

An Alberta Health Services report recently concluded there are enough patients in Red Deer to support a cardiac cath lab, but the province has not yet committed any money.

"This isn't only going to help central Alberta and save some lives, but it's going to release room in Edmonton and Calgary because we don't have to send patients there anymore," said Skoreyko. 

A group of volunteers is hosting a fundraiser on Jan. 19 at the Sheraton Red Deer hotel to raise money for better cardiac services in the region.

With files from Jennifer Lee

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