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When your need is a second chance

Foundation donors helped Paul Fontaine get past issues caused by rare condition


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“Paul, you are going to be here for the birth of your daughter. You are going to see your children grow up.” Paul Fontaine’s cardiologist said that to him in St. Boniface Hospital on the morning after Fontaine had his pacemaker put in to steady his heartbeat. Those words answered any other questions he had. “They still echo in my mind to this day,” said Fontaine. “I will get to see my children, Emmett, who is 4, and Elena, who is 1, grow up.”

Fontaine came close to death one week before his 33rd birthday. At the time, his fiancée, Shay, was eight months pregnant with their second child. On June 7, 2021, Shay rushed him to St. Boniface Hospital’s Emergency Department. He was diagnosed with a complete heart block caused by a rare inflammatory condition called cardiac sarcoidosis. They put in his pacemaker on June 9, 2021, and released him the next day.

“Coming out of the Hospital, I didn’t want to be like, “Why me?” Feeling sorry for myself would have been a waste of my energy,” he said. “Instead, I keep a positive attitude about being given a second chance by Foundation donors who supported my care at St. Boniface Hospital.”


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