Kootenay health care’s bright side

We often hear horror stories about our medical system, but seldom hear about the success stories. So I’d like to share mine with your readers.

Until last June I’d experienced no serious health issues for the almost 65 years of my life. That all changed on June 22 when I experienced an unusual dizzy spell — temporarily losing the ability to speak — and my husband drove me to the emergency ward at Kootenay Lake Hospital.

Dr. Wachtel and the ER staff on duty that morning attended to me promptly in a warm, empathetic and professional manner. I was given a thorough physical exam and a battery of tests all of which confirmed my general good health. I was very fortunate that there was an opening in the schedule that morning for the new CT scan and within two hours of arriving at the hospital, Dr. Wachtel was able to show my husband and I the CT image of my brain revealing a very large tumour (fortunately benign). He had already shared the scan with Dr. Govender, a neurosurgeon in Kelowna, who advised that the tumour required immediate surgery.  Dr. Wachtel prescribed the medications recommended by Dr. Govender and I went home to await surgery.

Dr. Govender and the surgical team at the Kelowna General Hospital successfully removed the tumour during a five hour operation on July 6. After a week in the Kelowna post operative ward and another week in rehab, I returned to Nelson to recuperate and finally returned to work in October.

I would like to thank Dr. Wachtel and the ER staff at Kootenay Lake Hospital and Dr. Govender and his surgical team at the Kelowna General Hospital for the excellent care I received.

In my case there is no doubt that our medical system worked extremely well and likely saved my life.  I met many other patients in the Kelowna rehab ward with stories similar to my own.

Certainly there are problems with our health care system that we need to work diligently to improve but, overall, we are extremely fortunate as Canadians to enjoy the system we have.

Angelina (Lena) Horswill



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