The Labatt Family Heart Centre

One in 100 children in Canada are born with a congenital heart defect, and 50% of those kids would not survive without surgical intervention. The Labatt Family Heart Centre performs 85% of all paediatric open heart surgeries in Ontario, and over 80% of heart transplants nationwide. A quarter of all surgeries take place within the first month of life, and over 40% are done on children under the age of one year. Since 2009, we have performed over 25 successful fetal interventions on babies in utero. With these and other accomplishments, SickKids ranks among the top three paediatric heart centres in the world, due in large part to the investment of our philanthropic partners.

For those who were unable to attend BCBC Belgians In Canada seminar, this brief but powerful video provides a sense of what our patients and their families face:

This time of year is when many individuals and corporations make their charitable gifts, and I would be honoured if your members would consider the Heart Centre in their philanthropic plans. Gifts may be made online at, and donors may designate their gifts to the Heart Centre by indicating “Heart Centre priorities” in the Additional Comments field. Members are welcome to reach out to me if they have any questions or would like more information.

Thank you for your support for the Labatt Family Heart Centre and the future of paediatric health.

Best regards,

Luc Mertens

Over and above the work and time they put into their roles at SickKids, Dr. Luc Mertens (originally from Belgium, and a member of the BCBC) and Dr. Barbara Cifra had volunteered to take on a new challenge – hosting a fundraiser in support of the Echocardiography Lab at SickKids in 2015. An unforgettable experience, Hope for Hearts Gala included a delicious dinner, abundant silent and live auctions, as well as great performances and special guests.

“We truly believe in the work we do. We see the benefits. We want to continue to share the results and impact lives.” – Dr. Luc Mertens

“We want people to understand that research is practical and that it can change lives. The research we do can not only change a child’s life, it can save a child’s life.” – Dr. Barbara Cifra

Luc M Hope for hearts