BioContact Québec

BioContact Québec

October 06, 2005 13:08 ET

'Heart at New Heights' or How Sylvain Bedard Won His Battle With Death

QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 6, 2005) - A very special guest, Sylvain Bedard, is set to make the closing address at the final BioContact Quebec 2005 luncheon presentation on Friday, October 7. BioContact Quebec is the leading Canadian biopharmaceutical partnership symposium that has gathered together over 150 top finance, investment, and biopharmaceutical companies and over 1,200 delegates from around the world-notably the United States, Asia, and Europe-at Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City this week.

Sylvain Bedard was diagnosed at a very young age with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a hereditary disease that thickens cardiac tissue. In 1999, his heart was working at only 15% capacity. In summer 2000, Sylvain Bedard received a new heart-and the transplant was successful. Since then, Sylvain Bedard has trained and participated in the Canada Transplant Games, where he won 8 medals. He was also the first heart transplant recipient to reach the summit of Mont Blanc (4,807 meters high) without aid.

On November 18, 2004, he left with kidney transplant recipient Dave Smith, his cardiologist and friend Michel White, and a multidisciplinary team including 6 climbers, 4 guides, 1 photographer, and 3 cameramen, to climb Bolivia's highest peak-Mount Sajama-which stretches to a height of 6,522 meters. The expedition, dubbed Bolivia 6000, was the highest climb ever attempted by transplant patients. The team of scientists who accompanied them took the opportunity to conduct descriptive medical research on the effects of altitude on transplant recipients.

During his presentation, entitled "Heart at New Heights," Sylvain Bedard will recount his fascinating adventure. Come discover how this man was able to win his battle with death and succeed in being the first Canadian heart transplant recipient to reach the summit of Mont Blanc and the first heart transplant patient in the world to establish a climbing record of 6,120 meters. "I want to show all researchers that their work-which helped me live-is not a waste of time, that heart transplant recipients like me can accomplish great things. I want to encourage people to sign their organ donor cards and most of all, I want to give hope to the thousands of people waiting for a transplant," says Sylvain Bedard.

Sylvain Bedard was the subject of a special one-hour report on the Radio-Canada television program Decouverte on September 25.

A detailed program of the symposium is available on the BioContact Quebec 2005 website at

Contact Information

  • BioContact Quebec
    Anie Perrault
    (514) 258-7629