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RVH's Keep Life Wild Radiothon seeks $125K boost for critical care expansion

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The two-day Keep Life Wild Radiothon kicked off Thursday morning to support health care close to home.

Officials with Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) in Barrie said funds raised will go a long way at the hospital.

"We need to expand critical care. We have a wonderful ICU, but it is very old, and it is small. As we speak right now, it is completely full, and we are actually spread into other units to accommodate the critically ill patients so there is a definite need for a bigger modernized ICU," said Dr. Chris Martin, chief and medical director of critical care at RVH.

Martin said RVH is hoping to expand not only in size but also in scope by bringing additional programs to the region.

"Expanding our oncology program more, we would like to look at thoracics and other programs as well and in the potentially expanding trauma down the road. All of these programs will require a critical care backup as well as just our growing population," said Martin.

Brad Ross is a cardiac patient at RVH and said the centre saved his life after he suffered a heart attack.

"I was having what's called a widowmaker heart attack. When you're having one of those heart attacks, they say time is muscle, and the longer you wait, the greater the risk of you not surviving. Until just a couple of years ago, patients like me would have been transported to Southlake in Newmarket, and it was thanks to donors and people in the community raising money, fundraising and making donations to RVH," said Ross.

Pure Country 106 and Bounce 104.1 broadcast live at RVH throughout the day and shared with CTV News this year's Radiothon goal to raise $125,000.

"We've been receiving a lot of calls, a lot of donations, challenges as well going out to firefighters in Simcoe Muskoka, a lot of challenges. It's really heartening to know that people are willing to open up their wallets and their hearts, especially at this time of the year," said Carey Moran, Pure Country 106 morning show host.

Radio hosts from Pure Country and Bounce will be back broadcasting live Friday, from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m.

The overall campaign goal is to hit $100 million, and since that launch last fall, $30 million has already been raised.

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