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​A life saving transplant put a firefighter back on the job

Dr. Heather Ross and Stella Kozuszko, Nurse Practitioner

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Dr. Heather Ross, left, and Stella Kozuszko, Nurse Practitioner in UHN's Heart Transplant Program, are constanly communicating about major and minor adjustments to a patient’s care, sometimes minute by minute.

​​​Round-the-clock expert attention, care and support kept Dale Shippam going until a new heart showed up.​

Growing up, Dale Shippam always knew what his future was going to be.

He was going to be a firefighter. But during six weeks in the Coronary Intensive Care Unit (CICU) at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (PMCC), the firefighter’s future, any future, was in grave doubt. 

“There were so many sirens outside,” he recalls, “and I was lying in a bed, thinking, ‘I’m never going to ride a fire truck again.’”