Our Stories

Vascular Surgery

Lisa's Better Care Story
  • Share This Story
Lisa's Better Care Story
Lisa's Story

I wake up in the ICU at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH) with no idea where I am. The concern in the eyes of my loved ones speaks volumes. Something is very wrong.

It’s hard not to panic but then I notice the doctors and nurses surrounding my bed. I know instinctively all these people are here to help me get better. What happened to me? The last thing I remember is an intense pain in my head after I arrived at work. My legs swelled and turned white, my speech slurred, my eye drooped.

I was rushed to OTMH and it’s a good thing I was. The quick action of vascular surgeon, Dr. Aaron Lo, saved my life. He and his colleagues gave me my best chance to go home one day.

Dr. Lo told my loved ones I had developed a rare heart tumour which had dislodged, showering hundreds of blood clots through my body. The clots restricted blood flow to my vital organs. They were so prevalent in my legs that tissue began to die within minutes.

Emergency surgery was my only hope. Dr. Lo spent 13 hours in the OR working on me. Saving my life was his priority. My family was told I would probably lose my legs.

Still, I realize how lucky I am. And, I’m deeply grateful to you for your loyal support. You see, the vascular program here at OTMH is only available because of your generosity. If this program didn’t exist, I likely wouldn’t have survived the transfer to another hospital.

With my organs shutting down and blood not flowing through my legs, my life hung in the balance. For two weeks, I lay in the ICU, intubated and hooked up to a respirator, where I underwent daily dialysis for my failing kidneys.

When I finally did wake up, my family gently told me what happened, trying their best to comfort me. But it was Dr. Lo who gave me hope and strength. He refused to give up on me – performing countless surgeries to save my life.

Slowly, my condition began to improve. After months of thinking my legs would have to be amputated, Dr. Lo operated on me again, removing a graft that had allowed blood flow to my legs. He waited for almost two hours to see if my legs would function without the graft. Finally, as if by some miracle, the blood in my legs began flowing.

Overall, I spent 10 months at OTMH, including six months in physiotherapy and outpatient rehabilitation therapy. Everywhere I went felt like home thanks to the amazing people who work here. The compassion in the hearts of the staff is shared by caring supporters like you. Your loyal support is the reason I was able to get the excellent care I urgently needed close to home.

I’ll never forget the day I left OTMH. My husband and I drove straight to our daughter’s basketball game. I can still see the joy on her face as I walked in on my own two legs and she realized I was coming home. It’s a gift I will treasure all my life.

Today, I hope you’ll give other patients a precious gift too – the gift of quality care and treatment so they too have the chance to recover and go home to their families.

Your donation today will help support vital programs such as vascular surgery. It will fund cutting-edge equipment and technology and give talented doctors like Dr. Lo the opportunity to bring the latest treatments and procedures to our community.

Together, let’s make more better care stories.

Your gift will mean more patients can hold hope in their hearts – hope they’ll beat the odds, get better, and go on to celebrate many more festive seasons with their loved ones.