Brought back to life seven times

Brought back to life seven times

This holiday season will be one Catherine will never forget, as she has been given another chance at life.

Catherine’s legs turned to jelly and she collapsed in February 2017. Luckily her husband heard the loud thump coming from the upstairs hallway of their Fisherville home.

The ambulance arrived shortly after and transported her to the local hospital in Hagersville. Catherine’s heart stopped and she was revived with CPR three times before being transferred to Hamilton General Hospital (HGH). She was revived once again during the ambulance ride to Hamilton and three more times after arriving at HGH.

“They discovered that I had a blood clot that was dangerously close to my heart and lungs,” says Catherine. “I couldn’t believe it was happening to me because I’d always been healthy and I exercised three times a week.”

She underwent a tracheotomy to help her breathe and surgery to remove the clot, which was interfering with her heart. Catherine’s kidneys were also shutting down, so dialysis was required for the next few weeks.

The effects of the blood clot were devastating. Catherine lost much of her motor function and she required the use of a wheelchair. After spending nearly three months at HGH, she returned to her local hospital for a brief stay before being transferred to the Restorative Care Program at St. Peter’s Hospital (SPH).

“I spent the next couple of months undergoing extensive physiotherapy and occupational therapy,” Catherine recalls. “I slowly regained my strength and balance, and I got to the point where I was able to use a walker instead of a wheelchair.”

“I couldn’t believe it was happening to me because I’d always been healthy.”

When Catherine was discharged from SPH, she was able to return home for the first time in almost six months.

“Coming home and being able to spend time with my husband was a wonderful experience. You don’t know how high I jumped with joy!”

Catherine’s condition continues to improve every day. She can walk short distances without the aid of her walker and she is able to drive again.

“I’m looking forward to travelling more in the future and spending more time with my grandkids,” she says. “People should support the Foundation to help more patients like me. Thanks to the excellent care I received, I’ll be able to enjoy a very special holiday season this year with my loved ones.”

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This holiday season, you can give the greatest gift of all – the Gift of Health – by supporting Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation. Donate at giftofhealth.ca.