As the Medical Health Officer for Prince Albert and area, I’ve always had faith in our region’s healthcare system. Little did I know that last year, I would become a patient myself, gaining an even deeper appreciation for the incredible care and facilities available in our community.

In March 2022, I was in my home office, engrossed in a routine call with my team when a sudden, excruciating back pain struck. My legs gave way, leaving me incapacitated. Ann-Marie, my wife, acted swiftly, calling for an ambulance. I recall being on a stretcher, awaiting transport to Victoria Hospital. The next thing I knew, six weeks had passed, and I found myself unable to speak or walk.

The pain I experienced was the result of a complex triple aortic dissection—a perilous tear in the inner layer of my body’s main artery. It’s a rare and potentially fatal condition. However, due to the exceptional healthcare team and technology at our hospital, I stand here today to share the story of how they saved my life.

Boreal Healthcare Foundation, and all its donors, played a crucial role in this. Thanks to support like yours, the hospital team had all they needed to stabilize me. From state-of-the-art CT scan technology pinpointing my aortic tear to the expertise in the emergency department, your generous contributions influenced my survival every step of the way.

When you donate to the Boreal Healthcare Foundation, every cent stays in our region. Your gift will have a tangible impact, channelling into healthcare priorities such as specialized equipment, upgraded facilities, and exceptional patient care, all within reach here in Prince Albert.

Though I have no recollection of it, Ann-Marie recounts that the Victoria Hospital team swiftly diagnosed my life-threatening condition and stabilized me, enabling me to be airlifted for emergency surgery in Saskatoon. I spent the first four days after my surgery in a medically induced coma, receiving the most extensive life support one can receive. It was a daunting experience for my family, yet they remained hopeful as I fought for my life.

After six long weeks, I finally regained my voice. However, my recovery had only just started. My body was feeble, and my memory was clouded. I had to relearn the basics—walking, tying my shoelaces, even buttoning up my shirt. Fortunately, I wasn’t on this journey alone.

Throughout my rehabilitation, the compassionate healthcare workers serving our region provided unwavering support. Their patience and encouragement were instrumental in getting me back on my feet. I firmly believe that without them, I wouldn’t be walking—and dancing—as I am today.

It’s been over a year since my health crisis, and I consider myself incredibly blessed to be here, writing this letter to you. Every moment with my wife, children, friends, and colleagues feels like a gift. And it’s a gift you helped bestow as a donor to the Victoria Hospital Foundation.

Please contemplate making a special gift today, or even becoming a monthly donor. Every dollar you contribute will remain right here in Prince Albert, bolstering our healthcare system so that every community member can access the local care they need, precisely when they need it.

P.S. I survived a life-threatening medical emergency thanks to the care I received at Victoria Hospital. Your donation today can ensure more people from our community can receive the care they need, close to home.

Dr. Khami Chokani
Medical Health Officer and grateful Victoria Hospital patient