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Reinhard’s Story


When I think about how close I live to Dr. Rinne’s heart clinic at St. Mary’s, I think that we might as well be neighbours. Since it only takes me 4 ½ minutes to get to the hospital for my regular visits, I often think how lucky I am to have him and his team working for me, and how fortunate we all are to have a full service heart centre right here in Kitchener.

I have an irregular heart rhythm called arrhythmia, an affliction I share with nearly 1.8 million Canadians and roughly 30,000 people right here in our community. The only way to treat my disease so that I don’t die from “sudden death” is to implant a defibrillator inside of me that can shock my heart back into regularity if it starts beating too fast. Just last month, Dr. Rinne starting implanting these devices in his patients. I was one of the first.

This is truly remarkable technology — it is cutting edge, it saves lives, and it’s now available just minutes from my home.

 In the few weeks since the cardiac team at St. Mary’s changed my life, the biggest benefit I’ve noticed is my peace of mind. I not only feel better physically but I know my wife and two children are glad that I now have my own defibrillator just in case. While it’s still early days since the procedure, we all seem more at ease and I appreciate that greatly.

 I know I am lucky to live in this community and I believe you are too. I hope you also find peace of mind in my story and join me in supporting the St. Mary’s campaign to build a full arrhythmia unit over the next four years — for everyone right here in this community. The first component of that campaign is a new CT-scanner so the doctors here can more effectively diagnose irregular heartbeat ; the first step in stopping arrhythmia before it stops a heart permanently.

I hope you will make a donation today to this campaign.

From my family to yours, I wish you good health and peace of mind.

Reinhard Nietsch