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Paying It Forward

Barkat Khan's Better Care Story
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Barkat Khan's Better Care Story

My patient, Barkat Khan, was worried.

In his 50 years in Canada, he’d never been admitted to a hospital before, much less operated on. Just as I do for all my patients at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH), I did my best to put him at ease.

We’ll take good care of you here,” I promised.

Mr. Khan’s care began with a CT scan. He had acute appendicitis and needed surgery as quickly as possible. But before I could operate, I needed to see what was happening inside Mr. Khan’s belly.

As I examined the images, I was again reminded why our CT scanner is so important to patient care. The images showed me the usual urgent surgery wasn’t the best way to go for Mr. Khan. The CT gave us critical information that we needed to plan the safest surgical timing for Mr. Khan to minimize his risk for complications.

Mr. Khan’s surgery went smoothly and he went home the same day.

I feel wonderful,” he told me in an email. “There’s no pain or complications. I’m so lucky to have OTMH as my hospital.

My OTMH colleagues and I are lucky too – lucky to have caring supporters like you in our corner. Thanks to your generosity, our hospital has the equipment we need to diagnose specific conditions, rule out worrisome diagnoses and plan the best and safest surgeries for our patients.

I’m very grateful for your ongoing support. With your commitment, you help ensure patients like Barkat Khan and your own family, friends and neighbours have access to leading-edge care, close to home. Your support is as important as the equipment and technology it funds.

That’s why I’m writing today. As we begin a new year, we urgently need your renewed support. Your special gift will help us purchase the latest diagnostic imaging (DI) equipment, including a new CT scanner, so crucial for the care and treatment of patients.

It will bring us closer to raising the $100 million our hospital needs. About a third of that — $30 million – is earmarked for our Diagnostic Imaging Department.

As you may know, our two CT scanners are used to diagnose a wide range of conditions including strokes, blood clots, infections, cancer and much more. It’s also used in the planning of dozens of surgeries my colleagues and I perform every day.

The vast majority of what I do as an Acute Care General Surgeon is to operate on appendixes and gallbladders. I also look after patients with diverticulitis (inflammation of the colon) and bowel obstructions. All of these surgeries require some type of imaging in the form of ultrasound or CT.

That’s why I’m happy OTMH has plans to buy a new state-of-the-art CT scanner with the highest level of image quality available today. Our healthcare team will be able to see the tiniest details, helping us make the best surgical choices for patients like Mr. Khan.

Buying a new CT scanner now is essential. One of our current scanners is 11 years old, making it hard to find replacement parts for it. With so many patients depending on us for care every day, we can’t afford for such crucial equipment to break down. We owe it to patients like Mr. Khan to diagnose their illness and get them better and home to their families as quickly as possible.

Thanks to caring supporters like you, we’ve raised more than 50% of the funds we need for a new CT scanner. And today, I hope you’ll help bring us the rest of the way with your generous gift.

I was thrilled to learn Mr. Khan was so impressed by the care he received at OTMH, he decided to become a supporter. Like you, he wants to help fund cutting-edge, priority equipment.

Having access to the best equipment when you’re sick is as important as the blood in your body,” Mr. Khan says. “New technology is coming that is more advanced, quicker and more accurate. It’s lifesaving and OTMH needs our help to bring it here for the benefit of the community.

I couldn’t agree more, especially considering the government doesn’t fund capital equipment.  The hospital and doctors like me depend on your generosity to help us stay current and invest in the equipment we need to save and improve lives.

Please send your generous gift today. Without equipment like CT scanners diagnosing conditions would be challenging, even impossible to do. As Mr. Khan says, “It’s where care begins.”

Your renewed support for OTMH is just as important.


Dr. Margaret Gordon
Acute Care Surgery General Surgeon
Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital