Waiting for a new heart while raising funds for the cause
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This article is adapted from the second edition of the Foundation’s magazine
Éric Cool has been raising funds for the Foundation while waiting for a heart transplant. A profile of a man who is an incurable optimist.
At the age of 47 and in good physical shape, Éric Cool suffered a major heart attack. He was taken to the Institute where Dr. Louis Perrault performed emergency surgery on him. Unfortunately, after the incident his heart could only operate at 50% of its capacity. Over the following months his condition deteriorated to the point where he was told he would need a heart transplant. Éric Cool is now on sick leave from his job as a high school principal but that doesn’t mean he’s sitting around twiddling his thumbs.
Seeing the glass half full
Even if he’s currently on the waiting list for a new heart, Éric Cool feels more physically fit than ever. He refuses to sit idly by as he waits for his surgery, especially since he doesn’t want his children to only be sad during the ordeal. “Do you want to turn this into something positive?” he asked them. Soon after, he launched a fundraiser for the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation. He was immediately supported by the Foundation’s team, specifically Marie-Pierre Lafortune, Advisor, Business Development and Partnerships. She provided support as well as opportunities for visibility that he would never have thought of on his own. “I’ve even been interviewed by a TV channel in Quebec City which raised awareness about my fundraiser. About two days later, we had already raised $10,000 and a month later we had raised $25,000,” said the former Beauport Harfangs player.
Because his fundraising team is so enthusiastic and committed, they quickly met their initial goal of $30,000. As a high school principal, Éric Cool is an innate leader. He created a committee which includes loved ones and friends and they have been able to rally others to the cause. Everyone shares responsibilities and remain in good spirits. They’ve organized myriad events to raise awareness, including a Finnish lawn game tournament, fundraising dinners, a hockey pool, and more. In addition to collecting donations, Éric Cool also encourages the people he meets to sign their organ donation sticker. “It’s a gesture that’s worth more than money,” he said.
Humour and support to get through a rough patch
In June 2021, Éric Cool’s condition continued to deteriorate. The Institute’s team implanted a mechanical pump designed to assist his heart until he receives a new one. Despite this, his spirits remain high. “I’ve been joking about it with my kids. At night when I plug it into the wall outlet, I tell them I’m a robot and I need to charge my batteries.”
While humour has helped him get through this difficult period, the members of his health care team have also played an important role. “They answer my questions and always come up with solutions. And if they don’t have any, they’ll look for them,” he said with admiration. “The Institute is all about leveraging medical expertise for their patients. We can really sense that they’re doing it for the right reasons.” We could say the same about this exceptional patient who has chosen to face adversity with gusto.
To support Éric Cool’s cause, visit the Facebook page “Donner c’est Cool” where you will find information about his fundraising activities.
Want to get involved with the Foundation?find out how to organize a fundraiser