Dr. Anson Cheung is used to long days in the St. Paul’s operating room. But in June 2016, the head of cardiac surgery at St. Paul’s Hospital took a long day to a new level: he performed three heart transplants scheduled within hours of each other.
For perspective, St. Paul’s normally sees 17 or 18 heart transplants in one year. The first transplant was scheduled at 6 p.m., taking approximately three hours to complete. The second surgery began just an hour after and took the better part of the night, finishing at 5 a.m.
By noon, the team was back in the operating room. By the time it was all over, Dr. Cheung spent more than 15 hours on his feet. This is the first time in BC history that three heart transplants were done in less than 24 hours. An incredible and historic feat that Dr. Cheung says was only possible because of the entire team – from OR Staff, to BC Transplant, to the donor’s family.