By Lisa Omeri
I wake up in the ICU at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH) with no idea where I am. The concern in the eyes of my loved ones speaks volumes. Something is very wrong. It’s hard not to panic but then I notice the doctors and nurses surrounding my bed. I know instinctively all these people are here to help me get better. What happened to me? The last thing I remember is an intense pain in my head after I arrived at work. My legs swelled and turned white, my speech slurred, my eye drooped.
I was rushed to OTMH and it’s a good thing I was. I had developed a rare heart tumour which had dislodged, showering hundreds of blood clots through my body. The clots restricted blood flow to my vital organs. They were so prevalent in my legs that tissue began to die within minutes.
Emergency surgery was my only hope. I spent 13 hours in the OR and my family were told I would probably lose my legs.
With my organs shutting down and blood not flowing through my legs, my life hung in the balance. For two weeks, I lay in the ICU, intubated and hooked up to a respirator, where I underwent daily dialysis for my failing kidneys.
When I finally did wake up, my family gently told me what happened, trying their best to comfort me.
Overall, I spent 10 months at OTMH including nine operations and six months in physiotherapy and outpatient rehabilitation therapy. Everywhere I went felt like home thanks to the amazing people who work here and the caring donors who generously give to the Oakville Hospital Foundation.
I’ll never forget the day I left OTMH. My husband and I drove straight to our daughter’s basketball game. I can still see the joy on her face as I walked in on my own two legs and she realized I was coming home. It’s a gift I will treasure all my life.
I hope you’ll give other patients a precious gift too – the gift of quality care and treatment so they too have the chance to recover and go home to their families.
Donations to the Oakville Hospital Foundation will help support the women’s health initiative focused on raising $1.6 million for OTMH to meet women’s specialized health needs throughout their lives. And, thanks to June and Ian Cockwell, together with Amarna, they will generously match all donations up to $150,000 doubling the impact of your gift.
More importantly, your donation will mean more women can hold hope in their hearts – hope they’ll beat the odds, get better, and go on to celebrate many more festive seasons with their loved ones.
Visit OakvilleHospitalFoundation.com to make a gift towards women’s health today.
Read the full Perspective Oakville Fall 2017 feature here.