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ROYAL COLUMBIAN HOSPITAL FOUNDATION MAGAZINE

Your Health Matters SPRING/SUMMER 2020 EDITION

IN THIS ISSUE

+ FINISHING

TOUCHES It’s moving time for Royal Columbian’s mental health program

+ BREATHING LIFE INTO RESEARCH Donor-funded professorship seeks critical care improvements

+ ROYAL COLUMBIAN’S HEART OF GOLD 50 years of growth and proficiency in cardiac care

+ SUDDEN LABOUR Nanaimo couple flown to Royal Columbian for premature delivery Mental Health and Substance Use Program head Dr. Anson Koo

THIS MAGAZINE BROUGHT TO YOU WITH GENEROUS SUPPORT FROM


phase one fInIsh lIne On a warm spring day in 2015, we celebrated a government announcement that launched construction of a new mental health centre for Royal Columbian Hospital. Now, as these words are being written, we are nearing completion of the vision outlined five years ago for phase 1 of the hospital’s unprecedented redevelopment. This spring, we proudly open the new Mental Health and Substance Use Wellness Centre, a “game changer” as Mental Health and Substance Use Program head Dr. Anson Koo has described it. An incredible amount of work has been invested into the construction of the 75-bed facility. In this issue of Your Health Matters, we join Dr. Koo to take a special look at Royal Columbian’s newest building. As well as looking ahead to the hospital’s future, we also celebrate the past in this edition of our magazine, as we reminisce about the recent 50th anniversary of cardiac care at Royal Columbian. The introduction of heart catheterizations in the hospital in 1969 is a great example of the power of philanthropy, since a donation was the catalyst for a program that is now the busiest in BC – and busiest in Canada for angioplasties. As always, we also include in Your Health Matters some remarkable patient stories that provide a glimpse into the exceptional work of our medical teams. In closing, we take a moment to recognize the hundreds of donors who have come together so far in support of the new mental health centre. Your generosity has been inspiring and has helped to create a proud legacy for generations to come.

tom Corsie

Chair, Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation

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YOUR HEALTH MATTERS I ROYAL COLUMBIAN HOSPITAL FOUNDATION

Jeff norris

President & CEO, Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation


Contents VOLUME 6 • ISSUE 1

EDITOR Jason Howe CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Simon Hayter William Jans Jerald Walliser LAYOUT & DESIGN Gary Slavin COVER DESIGN Paula Heal PUBLISHED BY New Westminster Record ROYAL COLUMBIAN HOSPITAL FOUNDATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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Chair: Tom Corsie vice Chair: Cameron Belsher treasurer: Catherine Ruby secretary: Jennifer Podmore Russell president and Ceo: Jeff Norris Directors: Dr. Sukh Brar, Frank Butzelaar, Doug Eveneshen, Meldy Harris, Steve Osachoff, Farid Rohani, Dr. William Siu, Emily Taylor, Norm Taylor, Rana Vig, Fred Withers

We welcome your comments on Your Health Matters magazine. Please email info@rchfoundation.com or write to us c/o Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation, 330 East Columbia Street, New Westminster, BC V3L 3W7. Established in 1978, Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation raises millions of dollars annually to purchase medical equipment, fund innovative programs, and support training and research. To donate, please visit www.rchfoundation.com or call 604-520-4438.

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greetings

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Inspired giving

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breathing life into research

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finishing touches

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royal Columbian’s heart of gold

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50 years of growth and proficiency in cardiac care

sudden labour

Nanaimo couple flown to Royal Columbian for premature delivery

It’s moving time for Royal Columbian’s mental health program

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Cold remedy

Kidney specialist finds her ‘Earth Angel’ after cancer diagnosis

Funding from TB Vets helps grow team looking into mechanical ventilation

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fully wired

Victoria man sent to Royal Columbian for ‘first in BC’ cardiac procedure

Behind-the-scenes briefs

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three of hearts

One family’s familiarity with cardiac care at Royal Columbian

Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation Chair Tom Corsie and Foundation President and CEO Jeff Norris

Committed volunteer

Q&A with Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation Board Chair Tom Corsie

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INSPIRED GIVING

The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation is helping transform Royal Columbian Hospital with a major gift made in support of maternal, infant, child, and youth care. The $2.65 million donation to Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation’s redevelopment campaign will assist phase 2 of the hospital’s $1.49 billion redevelopment. The generous contribution is also in honour of employees of the Washington Companies and their families, and in particular Southern Railway of British Columbia, which recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of becoming a Washington Company.

Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation is proud to recognize our 2019 Champions of Philanthropy: Dr. Zenon Cieslak, Dr. Michael Epstein, Linda Heisler and Trudy Robertson. By demonstrating their philanthropic commitment and making important contributions in support of the Foundation’s mission, these members of Royal Columbian Hospital have distinguished themselves by encouraging their peers to give, inspiring their networks to engage and making their own charitable gift. for the latest royal Columbian hospital foundation news, follow us:

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By subscribing to our monthly e-newsletter at www.rchfoundation.com

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On Facebook: www.facebook.com/ RoyalColumbian

A Coquitlam couple with a passion for children’s healthcare and strong personal connections to Royal Columbian Hospital are helping with the hospital’s current transformation. Walt and Judi Weaver have made a six-figure commitment towards Royal Columbian’s unprecedented $1.49 billion redevelopment. The donation has been made in support the construction of a pediatric/family waiting area in a new Emergency Department.

Organizers of Making the Cut Charity Golf Classic are preparing for their 8th annual fundraiser on June 13th, 2020. With your help, the event has raised about $350,000 since 2013. Visit www.makingthecutgolf.com for more information.

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On Twitter: @RoyalColumbian

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On Instagram: www.instagram.com/ royalcolumbian


breathIng lIfe Into researCh funDIng from tb vets helps groW team looKIng Into meChanICal ventIlatIon For critically ill or injured patients, mechanical ventilation can be a lifesaving intervention. However, it comes with its own risks and complications, something Dr. Steve Reynolds has thought a lot about. The Royal Columbian Hospital critical care physician has spent the last several years researching the issue. Initially something he worked on during his spare time, Dr. Reynolds – who is also the hospital’s medical director - now dedicates part of his professional life to the cause, and he’s been joined by a team of five others. “We are delving into

representatIves of the tb vets CharItable founDatIon JoIn Dr. steve reynolDs (5th from left) anD hIs researCh team members to honour the CharIty’s support of theIr WorK.

good research, but I get to mentor folks that are going to be a real asset to patients in the future,” says Dr. Reynolds.

Transformational respiratory physiology and trying to push the envelope about what we understand about how the ventilator hurts people and how we can prevent that,” he says. Dr. Reynolds and his team are the beneficiaries of funding by the TB Vets Charitable Foundation, which has partnered with Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation to support the research. A $250,000 investment, including $200,000 from the TB Vets, has resulted in the TB Vets Charitable Foundation Professorship in Critical Care at Simon Fraser University. “Not only do I get to do

The research team includes Karl Fernandez and Liz Rohrs, two Royal Columbian respiratory therapists who are among the first in their profession in the country to be pursuing their PhDs. Cardiac nurse Michelle Nicholas is doing the same. Thiago Bassi, a neurosurgeon from Brazil, is also working on his PhD, and SFU student Marlena Ornowska has joined as a master’s student. Suzette Willems is clinical research coordinator. “There’s no way that I could do this work without these team members,” says Dr. Reynolds. “I am pretty excited to see that they’re all

developing into really strong researchers.” The opportunity to grow the role of research at Royal Columbian is another great benefit, according to Dr. Reynolds. “We have an opportunity to be transformational in the research structure that we are setting up,” he says. “I hope that we are able to set up research institutes and programs over time, and the reach of this investment will be far beyond the dollars spent.” As for his research, Dr. Reynolds hopes it will lead to a significant shift in how mechanical ventilation is provided to patients in hospitals like Royal Columbian. “I think this has a possibility of transforming our field.”

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REDEVELOPMENT FEATURE:

Inpatient care The look and feel of the new centre was inspired by the nearby Fraser River. Design features include lots of windows and natural light, views of the river, open spaces, wood finishings, and nature and First Nations motifs. The goal has always been to create an environment where patients will feel safe, respected, and supported. “Right from the beginning, we realized the physical space itself has to be therapeutic,” says Dr. Anson Koo, Program Medical Director and Regional Department Head of Fraser Health’s Mental Health and Substance Use Program. “We incorporated innovative and leading design principles and ideas from around North America and internationally.” As a regional centre serving the entire health authority, the facility will include 45 inpatient beds for acute mental health care, a 10-bed Psychiatric High Acuity Unit, and Fraser Health’s first Older Adult Mental Health Unit with 20 beds. Every unit will have a variety of spaces including group therapy and consult therapy rooms. New features include exercise rooms, quiet lounges, comfort rooms for sensory therapy, and outdoor patios.

Outpatient care

FINISHING TOUCHES It’s moving time for Royal Columbian’s mental health program Comfort. Calming. Therapeutic. Those are among the aims of the new Mental Health and Substance Use Wellness Centre, which opens this spring as part of the first phase of Royal Columbian Hospital’s redevelopment. The 75-bed facility has been under

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construction for the last three years, and the vision for the new centre has been developed over many years. It’s now ready to start providing inpatient and outpatient care, as well as educational and research opportunities.

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A number of new and expanded mental health outpatient services will be offered on the main floor. “Outpatient services are a cornerstone of mental health treatment,” says Dr. Koo. “We want to prevent people from needing admission to hospital by providing timely and high-quality mental health care in an outpatient setting.” These outpatient services include: • A Psychiatric Consultation Clinic to support adult patients dealing with anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder. • An expanded Reproductive Psychiatry Clinic for mental health concerns related to pregnancy and post-partum.


• An Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic for youth diagnosed with depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, ADHD, or other mental health issues. • A Psychiatric Older Adult Clinic for seniors with mental health challenges. • A new Addiction Medicine and Substance Use Clinic for people needing assessment, support, and treatment for substance use problems. • A Group Therapy Clinic to provide support and education in a group setting for patients with depression or anxiety. • A Neuropsychology Clinic for people needing specialized cognitive testing and assessment. Live video virtual health capabilities in the new building will also help

transform care. In the future, psychiatrists and therapists will be able to do video consults with patients staying at a community site, such as a residential care home, or with a community-based mental health team to discuss discharge plans or on-going care.

Teaching and research

Royal Columbian is Fraser Health’s education hub for UBC’s Psychiatry Residency Program, and the new facility will have more space to teach medical students, psychiatry residents, psychologists, nursing students, and other health professionals. “What we know is that if we train people in the places where there is need, they will stay,” says Dr. Koo. “That’s been our experience with our residency reDevelopment plannIng & proJeCt program, where the ImplementatIon DIreCtor robIn vast majority of our latonDresse anD Dr. anson Koo vIsIt one psychiatry residents of the outDoor patIos that are part of

stay in Fraser Health to work.” The new centre also allows for psychiatric research. “We have a strong working relationship with UBC, and now we have a dedicated space where we can facilitate academic work and provide support for research which examines the mental health needs of our diverse and rapidly growing Fraser Health population,” says Dr. Koo. In addition to all these mental health services, the building also includes a café, an underground parkade, and an Energy Centre that provides power to the entire hospital. For Dr. Koo, it’s all been a long time coming. “Mental health and wellness are core to our well-being,” he says. “This redevelopment will help address the need to help people in all our communities more quickly and more effectively in a truly therapeutic environment.”

the mental health anD substanCe use Wellness Centre.

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royal ColumbIan hospItal’s CarDIaC CatheterIZatIon lab Is the busIest In CanaDa for angIoplastIes to treat heart attaCKs.

royal ColumbIan’s heart of golD 50 years of groWth anD profICIenCy In CarDIaC Care Generosity has the power to create a ripple effect that can last for generations. As evidence, look no further than a thoughtful philanthropic gift made decades ago that set the course for the growth of cardiac care at Royal Columbian Hospital. Over the past 50 years, heart services at the hospital have expanded to the point that Royal Columbian is now the busiest cardiac centre in BC, and it has become the busiest in Canada for a key, life-saving heart attack treatment. 2019 was the golden anniversary of Royal Columbian’s first heart catheterization, something that was made possible in 1969 following a $100,000 donation from the P.A. Woodward Foundation. At the time, it was the largest private donation ever made to the hospital, and it triggered a successful fundraising

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campaign to match the contribution. Today, the New Westminster-based hospital provides emergency cardiac care for a third of British Columbians who live, work, or play within the boundaries of the large Fraser Health Authority. In addition to the most open-heart surgeries in the province, Royal Columbian performs more angioplasties than any other hospital in the country to restore blood flow to people who have suffered heart attacks because of clogged arteries. “Royal Columbian performs almost as many emergency angioplasties for heart attacks as the rest of the province combined, and with some of the best survival rates in Canada,” notes Royal Columbian Hospital interventional cardiologist Dr. Gerald Simkus, who is also Fraser Health’s


from 1990, bC health mInIster John Jansen anD fraser-burrarD hospItal soCIety ChaIr mIChael mIlaney looK at royal ColumbIan hospItal’s CarDIaC CatheterIZatIon lab WIth Dr. marK henDerson Just before It opens to the publIC. Medical Director for Cardiac Sciences. “It’s very satisfying to take people who are sick, in pain and dying, and literally save their lives.”

Birth of cardiac care Cardiac care was not the main focus of that initial charitable gift. Instead, the plan was to build new treatment facilities for the high volume of accident victims. The layout consisted of a five-bed ward for critically-injured patients, and sophisticated X-ray and laboratory departments nearby. “The new equipment will put the hospital in the forefront as an acute trauma unit,” Dr. Walter Brewster predicted in the Vancouver Sun in 1966. These days, Royal Columbian is indeed one of the province’s two major adult trauma centres. But the addition of the trauma unit also proved to be the catalyst for the launch of a cardiac program. The equipment allowed for cardiac imaging to be done for the first time at Royal Columbian. Dr. Tom Godwin was hired in 1968 as the hospital’s cardiologist, and the first heart catheterization was performed in November 1969.

Rapid growth From there, the cardiac department quickly expanded with new physicians, staff, and patient volumes. By the early 1980s, doctors had begun to anticipate

the introduction of angioplasty services at Royal Columbian. A large number of patients were being transferred elsewhere for angioplasty as well as cardiac surgery. In 1989, the province announced the hospital would soon establish both programs. This happened in 1991. These days, cardiac services are again set for tremendous growth and advancement as Royal Columbian undergoes phase 2 of its $1.49 billion redevelopment. A new Acute Care Tower, set to be complete in 2024, will include increased care for heart disease and capacity to treat more patients.

Dr. tom goDWIn arrIveD as royal ColumbIan hospItal’s CarDIologIst Just before the hospItal’s fIrst CarDIaC CatheterIZatIon.

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brIDget ColvIn Is JoIneD by Dr. roger phIlIpp as her famIly thanKs the hospItal’s CarDIaC team WIth a DonatIon.

three of hearts one famIly’s famIlIarIty WIth CarDIaC Care at royal ColumbIan

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 life-saving cardiac care at the hospital in a span of just under three years. “I knew she had chest pains, but then all of a sudden I heard they needed the paddles,” recalls Bridget’s mother Debra. “I was just numb, because I couldn’t believe her heart had stopped.”

33-year-olD brIDget ColvIn spent ChrIstmas 2018 at royal ColumbIan after sufferIng a CarDIaC arrest at home on ChrIstmas eve.

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After her successful defibrillation, Bridget’s heart was beating again as she arrived at Royal Columbian’s cardiac cath lab, which performs more angioplasties than any other hospital in the country. Bridget had a 100% blockage in her right coronary artery, and interventional cardiologist Dr. Roger Philipp treated the occlusion with a single stent. Three-and-a-half days after suffering a cardiac arrest, Bridget returned home. “50% of all deaths occur in the first hour when you have a heart attack,” notes Dr. Philipp. “It’s always important for people to call an ambulance as opposed to driving themselves to the hospital.”

Family ties While it’s very unusual for someone Bridget’s age to suffer such a major cardiac emergency, a trip to the cath lab was not a new experience for the Colvin family. A little over two years prior, Bridget’s father Paul needed angioplasty at Royal Columbian. In his case, four stents were required to restore blood flow. Paul had been feeling unwell but kept putting it off. When the 61-yearold finally went to the hospital, he was surprised to learn he had suffered a series of heart attacks. “The cardiologist started telling me all the different symptoms, and I remember something where he told me heartburn,” he recalls. “I remember there were three nights in a row where I had horrific heartburn, and I don’t get heartburn. So he was telling me all these things, and I went, oh yah.” Paul’s brother David became the third member of the family to receive cardiac care at Royal Columbian when the 74-year-old went in for replacement valve surgery in the summer of 2019. The Colvin family, who live not too far from the hospital, feel fortunate that Royal Columbian has been there when they have needed it. “Royal Columbian has always been incredible,” says Debra. “We don’t go there very often. Babies and hearts, that’s about it. Babies and hearts.”


Carmon lagaDyn Was floWn from vICtorIa to royal ColumbIan to replaCe part of hIs Implantable CarDIoverter DefIbrIllator.

fully WIreD VICTORIA MAN SENT TO ROYAL COLUMBIAN FOR ‘FIRST IN BC’ CARDIAC PROCEDURE 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 to Royal Columbian Hospital. There, he became the first in Western Canada to undergo an unconventional procedure. “This heart is pretty much getting worn out,” says Carmon, who was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. “I will probably end up having a heart transplant.” Carmon was sent from Victoria to Royal Columbian after the wire that paces the left heart in his ICD system

failed. The wires, known as leads, almost always go through a large vein in the left shoulder directly to the heart. Carmon’s case became a challenge because there were already four leads in the left shoulder vein that left no room for new ones. Carmon was referred to electrophysiologist Dr. Stanley Tung.

Unique approach “Carmon came over so that we could put a new lead directly inside of the left heart,” explains Dr. Tung. “In British Columbia, only Royal Columbian Hospital has the capacity to do this inside-the-heart approach.” Typically, Dr. Tung would use a left-sided approach as designed by the technology. But in this case, that was not possible. So, working with a team in Royal Columbian’s donor-funded Multipurpose Interventional Suite,

Dr. Tung approached from the right. That made it a first for British Columbia, and only the third ever case in North America. “Coming from the right side is uncommon, and that’s why this is a very unique case,” explains Dr. Tung. “Fortunately it went smoothly, and the patient now has a new lead pacing the left side of the heart from the inside.” Carmon spent about two weeks at Royal Columbian before he returned to Victoria. He’s grateful to Dr. Tung for improving his quality of life in the hopes he can get a transplant in the future. “I am really impressed with his skill,” Carmon says. “He made me feel good about things, and explained what’s happening. He definitely knows what he is doing.”

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ColD remeDy

maha alChalabI Was treateD WIth ablatIon folloWIng KIDney CanCer DIagnosIs.

KIDney speCIalIst fInDs her ‘earth angel’ after CanCer DIagnosIs 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

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Columbian Hospital. “I was not a good candidate for standard treatments - surgical removal of the kidney or chemotherapy,” says Dr. Alchalabi after a biopsy confirmed the cancer. “I was in a very difficult situation, and so I hit the internet.” As she searched for solutions online, she read about cryoablation, a minimally-invasive option where special needles, placed through the skin, freeze and kill certain cancers.

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Cryoablation is one of three main ablation techniques performed at Royal Columbian Hospital, along with radiofrequency and microwave ablation, which both kill tumours with heat. Freezing or heating energy is delivered into the tumour by advancing thin needles or probes through the skin into the cancer using guidance with CT scanning or ultrasound. It does not require surgical incisions, and almost all procedures are done as an outpatient,


royal ColumbIan hospItal InterventIonal raDIologIst Dr. braD halKIer.

or occasionally with an overnight stay in the hospital. In Dr. Alchalabi’s case, the size of the kidney tumour was much larger than usual, but she felt ‘cryo’ was her last hope. That’s when she was introduced to Dr. Brad Halkier. “We get excellent results with ablation of smaller kidney tumours – three to four centimeters in size” explains Dr. Halkier. “But Dr. Alchalabi’s tumour was at least eight times that volume.”

Facing the challenge Dr. Alchalabi also had some other chronic health issues that further complicated the situation, and Dr. Halkier debated whether to go ahead. “I reviewed the case in person with two international experts, both trusted friends and colleagues in the United States,” he says. “They told me it was possible.” With newfound confidence, Dr. Halkier scheduled the procedure at Royal Columbian, one of only a few cryoablation centres in Canada. The equipment was funded solely through donations to Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation. Dr. Halkier calls it the most complicated ablation case he’s ever done, due to both the size and location of the tumour. There were some health challenges after the procedure, but Dr. Alchalabi stayed resilient and positive. A year later, there is no sign of remaining cancer. “I learned a lot from this case,” says Dr. Halkier. “We were able to treat the cancer effectively and safely. Having a team with the courage, expertise, the equipment to perform these types of cases is such as blessing. I am so grateful to our donors for giving us the tools to push the boundaries for our patients.” “Dr. Halkier is brave, smart, and kindhearted,” Dr. Alchalabi says. “I name Dr. Halkier as my Earth Angel.”

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suDDen labour KIrKlanD sChurman anD ayZlIn ethIer CuDDle JaCe soon after the neWborn’s premature bIrth.

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. “I was scared that something was wrong with the baby,” says Ayzlin. “I honestly didn’t think I was going to go into labour. I didn’t think Jace was going to be born then.” Unbeknownst to the couple, Ayzlin had a placental abruption, which Royal Columbian Hospital obstetrician/ gynecologist Dr. Jagdeep Ubhi says often leads to the baby’s delivery. “Blood can be a very strong stimulant for labour,” Dr. Ubhi explains. “Usually, we would not try to stop the labour if there is an abruption, because it potentially leads to more bleeding into the uterus and can also affect the fetal heart rate. If somebody has an abruption, we try to get the baby ready for life on the outside.”

nanaImo Couple floWn to royal ColumbIan for premature DelIvery

allowed to fly back to Nanaimo. “He was so strong,” says Ayzlin. “He would shoot himself from one end of his incubator to the other end. The nurses were saying he was a feisty little baby.” The couple are grateful for their care, which included funding through the Maternity/Infant/Child/Youth Emergency Response Fund to cover out-of-town costs including hotel and food. The financial support is provided by Variety – the Children’s Charity to support families from outside the Lower Mainland who need Royal Columbian Hospital’s help. A year later, the family is doing well at home. “He is perfect,” says Ayzlin. “He is loud, and he moves a lot. He’s great.”

Week in NICU Obstetrical and neonatal teams took part in the delivery, which became even more distressing for the Nanaimo couple when the umbilical cord was found to be wrapped around the baby’s neck. “They were trying to unravel it so they were flipping Ayzlin from one side to the other,” Kirkland recalls. “Every time they would have to do that, Ayzlin needed me to run to the other side so she could stare at me.” Upon delivery, the medical team briefly had to perform CPR on the newborn. But despite a turbulent birth, Jace made a quick recovery. The newborn stayed in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit for just one week before being

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royal ColumbIan hospItal obstetrICIan/gyneCologIst Dr. JagDeep ubhI.


COMMITTED VOLUNTEER Five years after joining Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation’s Board of Directors, Tom Corsie assumed the role of chair of the volunteer group in June 2019. He is the Vice President of Real Estate at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and is responsible for all matters pertaining to real estate management, engineering, asset maintenance and Canada Place. Foundation: What was it about the work of the hospital and the Foundation that appealed to you? TC: First, it’s the personal connection towards the hospital, because I was born there, my two sisters were born there, my three children were born there, and finally the hospital saved the lives of my very lovely wife Teresa and me. As to the Foundation, over my long career, I observed many colleagues being associated with the Board of Directors. I had an admiration for the great work and was hopeful I could one day be involved. Foundation: What have you learned about Royal Columbian since you joined the Foundation’s board? TC: Now that I have been directly involved for more than five years, my appreciation has grown significantly. The feedback we get from donors is often quite emotional once you hear about the impacts of the care delivered by these highly trained professionals. The statistics regarding the hospital’s work in cardiac care, trauma, high-risk maternity, neonatal care, neurosciences and mental health are really outstanding and put RCH in a leadership position on many of those fronts. Foundation: What stands out to you about the hospital’s redevelopment? TC: For me it’s the initial focus on mental health, which you can see for yourself now that the new facility is preparing to open. There is virtually no comparison to the existing facility in the Sherbrooke Centre, and the impact I believe it will make to members of our community will be profound. Foundation: What should donors remember when they make a gift to the Foundation? TC: The demand for new and innovative life-saving equipment is immense, and it is incredibly important to the very large community that RCH serves. One of the most exciting committees under the wing of the Foundation is the Major Equipment Funding Committee. This diverse group of professionals, which includes Foundation board members, has the very difficult task of determining where to make priority investments in equipment from various disciplines within the hospital. It is here where one recognizes the need is great. Donors should therefore remember that their gift will actually go towards that fundamental cause: saving lives.

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Caring from hospital to home. Getting a loved one home from the hospital isn’t just about arranging transportation. Choosing the right post-hospital care is essential for a full recovery. Our talent is caring, for you and the person you love. Let Us Take Care Of The Details!

604-553-3330 www.nursenextdoor.com

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Your Health Matters: spring 2020  

Your Health Matters magazine shares the stories of Royal Columbian Hospital on behalf of Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation.

Your Health Matters: spring 2020  

Your Health Matters magazine shares the stories of Royal Columbian Hospital on behalf of Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation.