Ty Vongnakhone’s story
When the back pain started, 31-year old Ty Vongnakhone first tried ointment and then a massage. Still, the pain was getting worse, so the Burnaby resident went to his local hospital. There, a stunning diagnosis – an extensive type B aortic dissection. Soon, he was rushed to Royal Columbian Hospital, where he would spend the next five weeks under the care of a medical team that spanned multiple departments.
Bridget Colvin’s Story
Burnaby’s Colvin family had just returned home from an annual Christmas Eve tradition in 2018 when 33-year-old daughter Bridget started feeling dizzy and unwell. As the discomfort and chest pains grew worse, her parents called 911. Shortly after firefighters and paramedics arrived, her heart stopped. The paramedics shocked her heart, and Bridget was rushed to Royal Columbian Hospital, becoming the third member of the family to require lifesaving cardiac care at the hospital in a span of just under three years.
Jace Schurman’s story
Ayzlin Ethier was having a typical pregnancy before she woke up at her Nanaimo home in early October 2018 to find some bleeding at 31 weeks. Within hours, she and her partner Kirkland Schurman had been transported by helicopter from Vancouver Island to Royal Columbian Hospital, where a detached placenta meant their baby boy would be delivered several weeks premature.
Carmon Lagadyn’s story
Carmon Lagadyn’s heart is failing. The 63-year-old Victoria resident has a genetic condition that is causing an increasingly weaker heart. He has undergone a number of procedures in the last 15 years, including being fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). But when part of the device had to be replaced, he was already so packed with wires that he needed to be flown from Vancouver Island to Royal Columbian Hospital. There, he became the first in Western Canada to undergo an unconventional procedure.
Maha Alchalabi’s Story
As a nephrologist in Iraq, Maha Alchalabi was a kidney specialist who came to Canada in 2014 seeking peace and wanting to practice medicine in this country. But during a visit to her family doctor three years after arriving here, the 54-year-old discovered a problem with her own kidneys. It was cancer, a diagnosis that in her mind presented no clear treatment options until her own research led to an interventional radiologist at Royal Columbian Hospital.
Cabintoy family’s story
In the blink of an eye, the Cabintoy family’s early morning drive to church in Surrey took a horrific turn. Dashcam footage of the October 2018 head-on crash shows a car in the opposite lane suddenly swerved into their path, leaving no time to react. Royal Columbian Hospital – with one of the province’s two Level 1 trauma programs – would soon be called upon to respond to the extensive injuries suffered by the parents of two young girls.
Charles Evans’s Story
Those who knew him say Charles Evans was frugal with himself but generous with others. He moved to New Westminster from Winnipeg after retiring from a career in law and lived in the same condo for three decades. Before his death in 2017, Charles quietly designated Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation as the beneficiary of what is one of the largest legacy gifts ever in the hospital’s existence.
Adriana Bronk’s Story
Adriana Bronk was having such bad shortness of breath, she could no longer rest in her own bed. Instead, the 91-year-old woman had begun to sleep in a reclining chair. It turns out she was in need of a new heart valve. Unfortunately, surgery was not an option for her. She also wouldn’t be suitable for a non-surgical procedure known as TAVI – that is, until Royal Columbian Hospital became only the second site in Canada to use a new approach that is providing an option for people who otherwise would have none left.
Elijah John’s Story
Elijah John isn’t sure how he pulled himself out of the wreckage. The 18-year-old was in shock, he was struggling to breathe, and his left arm was dangling. All this, after his car hydroplaned off the highway on a rainy November evening as Elijah was going from work to his home in Hope. Thanks to a passerby, Elijah would eventually be rushed to Royal Columbian Hospital – one of the province’s two major adult trauma centres.
Ken Carrusca’s Story
Ken Carrusca has been playing hockey for decades and has racked up a number of injuries over the years. But when the 50-year-old collapsed on the ice in Burnaby in early 2018, it very quickly became a matter of life or death.