Nicholas Avdimiretz knows exactly what struggling to breathe feels like — as a child, he had asthma that landed him in the emergency room several times. “It was really difficult, feeling helpless as a child and not being able to breathe. That’s a pretty vivid memory for me.”
Now, he treats children battling all types of respiratory issues. His specialty — pediatric lung transplants — is a rare niche, and after training at Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, he brought his expertise to Edmonton. Leading one of only two programs in the country devoted specifically to pediatric lung transplants, Avdimiretz and his team treat patients from throughout western and central Canada.
As a specialist, he also trains others in the niche. “My goal with medical education is to create sustainability within the Stollery,” says Avdimiretz. “If we don’t devote that time to trainees and medical students and residents, that knowledge isn’t passed on.”
Though he’s proud of his team and the program as a whole, it’s the young patients he treats that ultimately inspire Avdimiretz to continue striving for excellence.
“Seeing how resilient they are, and how thankful they are even in their current situation, is something that really gives me hope,” says Avdimiretz.
He gives suffering children the breath of life
This article appears in the November 2022 issue of Edify