“I kept thinking my husband is very strong. He’ll come through this. He will not die.” ~ Joan Hardman
 
While Joan was having those thoughts in the waiting room at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH), I was in the OR, operating on her husband, Cliff. As a vascular surgeon, my every thought was focused on saving his life.
 
A few hours earlier, Cliff had been eating lunch when he suddenly collapsed. He was rushed to the hospital where an ultrasound showed a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm. It was the largest aneurysm I’d ever seen, about the size of an orange. I needed to perform emergency surgery – a very risky operation – to repair the aneurysm. I gently explained the dire situation to Cliff’s terrified wife and daughters and gave them a few minutes to say goodbye. We all knew it might be for the last time.
 
My colleague, vascular surgeon, Dr. Sydney Wong and I got Cliff into the OR just in time. His blood pressure plummeted and he was literally at the point of death. It’s a very good thing we now have vascular surgery here at OTMH. If we didn’t, Cliff never would have survived the transfer to another hospital! That’s where you come into the story. I was able to operate on Cliff because of new vascular surgical instruments you helped purchase with your support. In fact, your generosity helped bring vascular surgery and Dr. Wong and I to OTMH in the first place. I’m very grateful for your loyal support.
 
Your donations have helped build a high-tech hospital where the people of Oakville can get treated in Oakville with the highest quality of care available. We need your help so we can continue to invest in leading-edge technology and offer the latest procedures and treatments to your family, friends and neighbours. That includes vascular surgery. It’s our intention to bring the full breadth of vascular services to OTMH. Right now, we can only do open surgeries like the life-saving operation we performed on Cliff. We don’t yet have the equipment we need to offer our patients modern vascular procedures that are guided by x-ray in the OR. Dr. Wong and I are trained in the newest techniques to repair aneurysms before they rupture and we’re amazed by the difference they can make to a patient’s recovery. Instead of spending 10 days in the hospital, 90% of patients can go home the next day. And since these procedures are much less invasive than open surgeries, patients experience less pain and risk of infection. We can also offer these techniques to people with many health problems who are too high a risk for open surgery.
 
But to bring these modern vascular procedures to OTMH, we need your help to purchase the necessary equipment. Your gift will help in other departments too – ensuring my colleagues have the equipment and technology they need to perform at their highest level of expertise. You will help us continue to provide patients like Cliff with lifesaving care close to home. After 5 hours in the OR, I had good news for his anxious family. We had successfully repaired Cliff’s aneurysm. Cliff would need a lot of recovery time and rehabilitation, but he was going to be fine. That would not have been the case if vascular services didn’t exist at OTMH. Cliff would have died in the transfer process to a cardiac specialty hospital in Peel.
 
Thank you for caring for our community – for helping to make new programs like vascular services possible at OTMH.