Former Oiler, Wayne Gretzky, donated $99,000 to the Brain Centre Campaign on Tuesday. The campaign, founded by the University of Alberta Hospital is now in its final and most integral phase; a new, state-of-the-art Neuro Intensive Care Unit. Currently, the Neuro ICU hasn’t seen any upgrades since the 80s. The vision shared by those involved is to be a world leader in brain treatment by reimagining and advancing the quality of care that all brain patients receive.
Number 99 will serve as Honorary Chair for the campaign. It is hoped that his participation will encourage further public involvement. Head of the Alberta Health Services board, Linda Hughes, welcomed Gretzky to the Brain Campaign Centre, and acknowledged his immense support. “For all the goals he scored, he made many more assists — and today is no different,” Hughes said.
For Gretzky, the decision to become involved with this cause was personal since his father’s experience with brain trauma.
As people may know, my dad went through a brain trauma injury in 1991 and spent seven or eight days in a coma and three and a half years at a clinic, and, obviously, today he’s doing extremely well. -Gretzky
Following his speech, Gretzky lead visitors outside to observe Canada’s first Stroke Ambulance. This new addition to the University Hospital will expand its capacity to save the lives of those who have suffered a stroke. The goal of the Stroke Ambulance is to reduce time between stroke onset and treatment, allowing more Albertans the chance to survive and live without life-changing deficits.
The Brain Centre Campaign has raised over $45 million since it began in 2012.