Together, donors like you advance health care at the QEII

At the QEII, we’re at our best when we help you get better. You play a vital role in that – as members of our community who, together, hold the power to advance health care. The government ensures health care services are there for you when you need them most. Community donors ensure you get the best possible care, by funding the latest in medical technology and equipment, and helping to keep the QEII a medical leader in Atlantic Canada.


Your Impact


Stellarton, Nova Scotia

Few people understand what it feels like to undergo a heart transplant. Brenda Pettipas knows exactly the feeling – but has trouble capturing it in words. Two short years ago, Brenda woke up at the QEII Health Sciences Centre with a new heart.

“It was so amazing,” she says. “The first thing I noticed was that I wasn’t feeling my heart.” Prior to the surgery, Brenda felt every physical heartbeat in her body.

Brenda credits her care team at the QEII for giving her what she describes as a second chance at life. “I’ve never met such wonderful people as the transplant team at the QEII,” she says. “They have so much to give and I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Lorne Abramson

Halifax, NS

Until emergency room doctors at the QEII Health Sciences Centre told him, Lorne Abramson didn’t know he was having a heart attack.

“The next thing I knew, I was surrounded by six or seven people and moved to a gurney,” he says.

Lorne was rushed to a 6th floor cath lab, where the team prepared for an emergency intervention, placing a stent to open up a blockage in his heart.

Earlier that day, after what felt like an ordinary workout, Lorne sat down at the gym. He knew he wasn’t feeling right, but had no pain, and even drove to meet his wife, who then took him to the QEII. There were no warning signs. He had no family history. An otherwise healthy man, Lorne was faced with an immediate health challenge, but it didn’t slow him down for long.

“The cardiac rehab team at the QEII is amazing,” he says.

With the help of his care team, Lorne transitioned back into everyday life, starting with a heart healthy diet and slowly, easing back into his regular workouts. The 71 year old is living an active lifestyle, involved in the local theatre community and sitting on the executive board for Diabetes Camps in Nova Scotia.

Peter Knight

Jemseg, NB

“Suddenly, I didn’t feel well at all. I had no control over my hands – it’s like they were separated from my body. I went to call my wife, but I couldn’t remember her cell phone number,” he says.

With his wife, Sheila, by his side, Peter listened to an emergency room doctor tell them he had experienced a stroke.

Two months later, something wasn’t right. Peter went to the nearest hospital and, after testing, was diagnosed with an atrial septal defect – a small hole between the top two chambers of his heart. Normally, this hole closes when a baby is born. When it doesn’t, it can result in other serious health issues, like stroke.

Peter’s family doctor referred him to Dr. Nadeem, a cardiologist at the QEII. He could have surgery or manage his condition with medication. As with any surgery, there were risks involved, but the Knights knew their answer upon arrival.

In 2016, Dr. Nadeem put a small device in Peter’s heart, sealing the opening. Peter is thankful for the people who helped him through his journey, including his care team.

“I can’t say enough good things about the QEII and how efficient it is. I have nothing but high praise for the doctors and the staff there,” he says.

Kelvin MacKay

Grand River, NS

Kelvin was working on a fishing boat at four in the morning when suddenly, he didn’t feel right. “I didn’t know what was going on,” he says. When he reached the shoreline, a team of fishermen and firefighters arrived to move him to the wharf where an ambulance was waiting.

After he reached the emergency room in Sydney, Kelvin was airlifted to the QEII Health Sciences Centre.

“My heart stopped in the helicopter. They had to shock me with the paddles,” he says.

His mind flashed to his girlfriend and his son – he hadn’t had a chance to tell them he loved them.

When they landed at the QEII, Kelvin was rushed to the 6th floor cath lab, where a dye test revealed a severe blockage in the main artery of his heart. The team performed an urgent intervention and placed a stent.

“If it wasn’t for the good people at the QEII, I wouldn’t be here,” he says.

Kelvin is grateful for everyone who played a role on a morning he’ll never forget - from his fellow fisherman, to the firefighters, paramedics, hospital staff at his local ER, and the team of experts at the QEII who had minutes to save his life. As Kelvin continued to experience challenges with his heart, he returned to the QEII months later to receive a pacemaker.

Today, he is back on the boat and doing what he loves. “It was like winning the lotto. I got a second chance,” he says.

Randy Graham

Windsor, NS

Randy Graham knew something wasn’t right. After months of exhaustion and visits to his local health centre, he was referred to the QEII Health Sciences Centre.

Following a diagnostic test, Randy received a call to come in immediately. “Stop what you are doing and get here as soon as you can, the doctors said,” Randy says.

Leanne, who works full time as a mortgage broker, met Randy at the side of the highway to rush to the QEII, where Randy was admitted. With the help of new medication, follow up care, and a state-of-the-art pacemaker, Randy is getting back to everyday life. His care team at the QEII was an integral part of that process.

“The cardiac rehab program at the QEII is second to none,” Randy says. In August, Randy left his job. After facing a lost income, the couple was inspired to do something to help other families, hosting their first annual fundraiser, a golf tournament, earlier this year.

“Randy was the driving force behind this fundraiser. I had this idea that I wanted to help sick people pay their mortgages,” Leanne says.

This work has been their saving grace. The couple is working with the QEII Foundation to raise even more funds next year.

Tommie Acker

Shelburne, NS

Tommie Acker was deep in his woodlot, training his young oxen, when he had a heart attack.

“There was no way I could walk, and the oxen had never gone anywhere without me leading them from the front. I thought I may as well die trying to get out, so I sat on the back of my wagon, pointed it towards home and hung on for dear life,” he said. The oxen brought Tommie to the gate of his house. After a ride that he admits left his bottom black and blue, he pulled himself off the wagon and to the front door, where his wife, Helena, was vacuuming. “I knew what was happening as soon as I saw him, I left the vacuum cleaner on and ran out to the car with him,” said Helena.

The Ackers arrived at their local hospital, where Tommie was airlifted to the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax. After two weeks of testing, he was sent home to rest before bypass surgery.

Just weeks into his recovery, Tommie felt better than ever and, only months later, he was back at work. “Too many people think that once they have a heart attack that’s the end and they don’t do anything with their lives. I’m going full-throttle.” he says.

Philip Poole

Barrie, ON

A visit to the QEII Health Sciences Centre was not in Philip Poole’s plans over a trip to Halifax. But his experience with the QEII that followed compelled him to give back to help others. “There was never a question I would send a gift to say thank you,” he says.

Philip had dismissed chest pain a day earlier, but after arriving at his hotel, it worsened and Philip went to the QEII’s emergency department, where he learned he was having a heart attack. Philip made a full recovery, with the help of the QEII’s cardiac rehabilitation program and the support of his wife, Karen.

He says the Maritimes has a “wonderful down home charm” and he experienced this in a big way during his stay at the QEII. Philip says his wife flew into Halifax because she was retired and they could afford it. But, if this had happened outside of Canada, the cost to his family would have been significant. “If we want to change this reality I encourage people to donate to their hospitals. My experience reminds me of the fragility of this gift of life we have been given,” he says.

Wayne Taylor

Stratford, PE

When Alice Taylor’s husband dropped to the floor, she had minutes to save his life. She called an ambulance, and Wayne was rushed to hospital. As his heart was failing, Wayne was transferred to the QEII Health Sciences Centre for advanced care.

“I can’t say enough about the care I received at the QEII,” Wayne says. “They followed my case quite closely." Wayne spent 15 days at the QEII, while his care team evaluated his next steps.

“From my perspective, as a partner, the doctors were amazing,” Alice says.

Together, donors like you support the QEII. Today, the areas of greatest need are:

(click to read more)

Heart Health

As the leading cardiovascular care centre in Atlantic Canada, the QEII ensures your heart is at its best. Heart health is currently the biggest fundraising priority at the QEII. We are on a journey to fund Atlantic Canada’s first hybrid operating room. The hybrid suite will bring diagnostic and surgical teams together so that patients have minimally invasive surgeries, with smaller incisions, shorter recovery times and less stress on the heart.

Learn more about how your gifts change lives across care areas

(click to read more)

Heart Health

As the leading cardiovascular care centre in Atlantic Canada, the QEII ensures your heart is at its best. Heart health is currently the biggest fundraising priority at the QEII. We are on a journey to fund Atlantic Canada’s first hybrid operating room. The hybrid suite will bring diagnostic and surgical teams together so that patients have minimally invasive surgeries, with smaller incisions, shorter recovery times and less stress on the heart.

Care Enrichment

When faced with a healthcare challenge, the little things have a big impact on patients and families at the QEII. Through the Comfort and Care grant program, QEII Foundation donors are changing lives. Comfort and Care grants fund comfort items for patients receiving care in areas across the QEII. These items bring comfort to those who need it most by making a hospital stay easier – warm blankets to ease the pain of cancer treatment or surgery, reclining chairs make overnight visits more comfortable for loved ones and therapy lamps to treat anxiety, just to highlight a few ways that your support will ensure these grants continue to change lives.


Research has a direct impact on the lives of patients who visit the QEII. Translating Research Into Care (TRIC) grants are changing the delivery of health care at the QEII. These grants, funded by donors like you, bring together researchers and administrators to uncover innovative solutions to improve patient care. The QEII Foundation also invests in research – supporting the people and projects that are catalysts for change and will shape the future of health care for Atlantic Canadians.

Cancer Care

As the largest cancer centre east of Montréal, the QEII provides the full spectrum of cancer care to patients from across Atlantic Canada. From radiation treatment, to surgery and systemic therapy, the QEII’s Cancer Centre is the academic hub in Atlantic Canada. The QEII trains cancer care specialists and sets the standard of care for cancer treatment.

Together, with donors like you, we will fund advanced cancer therapy preparation equipment that will double the prep capacity for specialized drugs (like chemotherapy) and reduce wait times for patients who need treatment. With your support, the QEII will be able to facilitate additional clinical trials and be home to a new, world-leading Cancer Therapy Preparation Suite.

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Thank You

You make the extraordinary possible at the QEII. Not only do you help to position our team as leaders in the medical community, but, through your generosity, patients receive the most advanced care available today.

Your gifts ensure patients receive the latest treatments and therapies, and are cared for by a team who has access to advanced medical technology and equipment. You are a champion for those who visit the QEII from across Atlantic Canada. Thank you, on behalf of the patients and families who need your support most.

Dr. John Sapp

Cardiologist, QEII Health Sciences Centre


What is the QEII?

The QEII Health Sciences Centre takes care of Atlantic Canadians when they need it most. With 10 buildings on two sites, the QEII is the largest adult health sciences centre in the region. The QEII is the specialized care centre in areas such as heart health, cancer care, neurosurgery and organ transplantation. In addition to providing the most advanced care available, the QEII is the leading research centre and training facility for tomorrow's health care professionals.

If you have questions about any of our programs, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d love to hear from you.

QEII Foundation

5657 Spring Garden Road, Park Lane Mall, Suite 3005
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3R4

Tel: 902 334 1546