Jennie & John Hik’s Story
John and Jennie Hik were high school sweethearts. Married for almost 61 years, they shared a deep affection for Royal Columbian Hospital and a decades-long commitment to supporting patient care.
Brittany Lewins from Mackenzie and Madylon Christley from Kelowna were once complete strangers living at opposite ends of the province until their paths crossed at the Royal Columbian Hospital’s Variety Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Both had babies born at 27 weeks gestation, just three days apart. They forged a forever friendship as they supported each other during their NICU journeys.
Vince Li’s Story
26-year-old Vince Li had been battling a fever for several days in March 2020 when he made his way to the hospital in Burnaby. The results of an X-ray and blood test revealed tell-tale signs of COVID-19. Doctors decided to immediately sedate, intubate, and send the young man to Royal Columbian Hospital, one of the province’s primary COVID-19 sites. There, he became the youngest COVID-positive patient to be mechanically ventilated in the hospital’s intensive care unit during the pandemic’s spring peak.
Olga Angus’s Story
In mid-April 2020, New Westminster resident Olga Angus turned a remarkable 108-years-old. It’s an anniversary that is one for the record books worldwide, because of a life-saving cardiac procedure seven years earlier at Royal Columbian Hospital.
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.