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The cost of living with a ventricular assist device

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Image of Dr. Terrence Yau with Dr. Ed Hickey
Dr. Terrence Yau, cardiac surgeon, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (foreground), along with Dr. Ed Hickey, pediatric surgeon, SickKids, led a complex surgery on congenital heart disease patient, Morgan Latta. His rare cardiac condition led to surgeons implanting him with an HeartWare mechanical heart device in April at UHN. (Photo: UHN/PMCC)​

Financial impact, on many levels, was the subject of a recent in-depth video feature story by the National Post, profiling Peter Munk Cardiac Centre patient Morgan Latta.

The young and married father of a toddler is a resident of Kingston, Ont. and has been living with a heart condition since birth. 

In April 2016, at the age of 33, Morgan underwent surgery performed at UHN by Dr. Terry Yau, cardiac surgeon, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre; and Dr. Ed Hickey, pediatric surgeon, SickKids.  Considered a complex procedure given his particular circumstances, the surgeons fitted Morgan with a mechanical heart or ventricular assist device (VAD).

The story delved into a rarely-exposed side of a patient's journey:  the financial impact of having a chronic health condition.

The costs of living with a VAD from the perspective of the patient, his family and their livelihood - both before surgery and after - as well the financial realities on the healthcare system are all examined in the video story.

View the National Post video here.

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