Stuart Kovensky’s Story

Travel is part of the job in the investment management business, and Stuart Kovensky of New York was at the tail end of a week-long trip across Canada when he landed in BC. It was mere days after the 2010 Winter Games, and Kovensky was at a client’s house in White Rock when the 42-year-old was jolted by a pain like nothing he had ever felt before. He would soon end up at Royal Columbian, facing emergency cardiac surgery to save his life.

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Alain Champagne’s Story

On the night of December 18th, 2016, Alain Champagne was getting ready for bed when his wife Marion Bonner heard a loud thump. She bolted up the stairs to check on Alain. She found him slumped against a dresser, having a seizure.

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Kulwant Samra’s story

After Kulwant Samra tested positive for COVID-19, the 51-year-old Abbotsford man isolated himself from his family in a room in his home. He was tired and short of breath in the first half of June 2020, as businesses and schools in the province were re-opening following the initial protective measures taken during the start of the pandemic. Kulwant was initially still able to work remotely for his trucking company, dispatching a driver by phone the day he truly became alarmed by how he felt. His last memory was leaving his home by ambulance, before waking up eight weeks later at Royal Columbian Hospital.

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Mike Wilkinson’s story

Mike Wilkinson thought the sharp pain was a toothache, but it turned out to be something much more debilitating. For close to two years, the facial pain would come and go, seemingly lasting longer and getting more intense each time. The Surrey resident was eventually diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia – sometimes called ‘the suicide disease’ because of the agony it causes. It became so bad that Mike was on the verge of spending six figures for treatment in the U.S., before he was fortunately referred to a neurosurgeon at Royal Columbian Hospital.

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Roger Pinette’s story

Roger Pinette had been feeling unwell for a few days, struggling with a bad cough, headaches, a fever, and fatigue. They are the type of symptoms that have come to be associated with COVID-19, but back in early March 2020 it was not yet front and centre in people’s minds. It would be several weeks before the 72-year-old Langley resident would learn he had contracted a near fatal case of the respiratory illness, only hearing the news after he had awoken from a lengthy stay in Royal Columbian Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.

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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.

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Brittany/Madylon’s Story

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.

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A legacy of care

Born at Royal Columbian Hospital in 1928, Roy Brainerd grew up during the Depression. “They were hard times but we always had enough,” Roy remembers. The family home on Harwood Street in North Burnaby boasted abundant vegetable gardens, horses, and a chicken coop.

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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.

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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.

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