|Darius, left, with his family.
As someone who cares about health care, this story will really resonate with you.
Imagine yourself in a severe accident in the middle of nowhere. Just days before starting Grade 12, Darius and a couple of friends headed to the mountains for a day of hiking. As a competitive slalom kayaker and honour roll student, he was looking forward to his final year of high school. The friends were excited about the day they were going to have. That’s when tragedy struck. A rock slide triggered and Darius fell almost 30 metres down the mountain and he was severely injured.
He was later found to have a broken femur, three breaks in his pelvis, cracked ribs, a collapsed lung, a shattered heel and multiple gashes and lacerations as well as several broken foot bones. His friends called for help. Paramedics were able to stabilize him and soon after he was transferred to Foothills Medical Centre.
The next few hours were touch and go as Darius’s vital signs kept crashing. When his parents, Julie and Narsh, and his two brothers, Alexander and Nicholas, arrived at Foothills, they were greeted by members of the trauma team who led them to a quiet space where they could wait.
They were completely overwhelmed and terrified. Were they going to lose their son? Doctors calmly reassured them that everything possible was being done to save Darius’s life. But his injuries were severe. The expert medical staff worked on him throughout the evening. Luckily for Darius, he was in the right place.
Foothills provides the highest level of trauma care with the most state-of-the-art equipment, thanks to your generosity. You are a vital partner of Calgary Health Trust. Because of you, patients like Darius can expect to receive world class care in Calgary’s hospitals. I hope you will renew your support today to help thousands of other patients in need.
For another three days Darius was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), still intubated and heavily sedated. “Darius doesn’t remember anything of the accident or his stay in the ICU but we do. The ICU team was phenomenal, but it was still the toughest few days of our lives. It is good that he doesn’t remember,” say his parents, Julie and Narsh.
Darius then spent another month at Foothills on the Trauma and Orthopedic Units where he had two more surgeries to fix his broken pelvis and shattered heel.
I recently spoke to his parents and they told me how thankful they are. “The doctors, nurses and other staff were very professional and integrated our entire family into Darius’s care. Every day that he spent there, either one of us or Narsh’s parents were able to be with him. We never felt like we were in the way. We are forever grateful to the medical teams that worked on Darius,” say Julie and Narsh. Within a few months Darius was able to walk again. As an athlete, he was also eager to get back into his kayak.
It’s now been two years since the accident and Darius is almost fully recovered. He graduated high school with honours and just completed his first year of university. And most importantly, he is back in his kayak. “We are so blessed to live where we do, with access to universal health care. But we can always do more and everyone can help out,” says Julie.
I hope I can count on your support today. Health care touches everyone in different ways and Calgary’s hospitals are relied on by Calgarians and Southern Albertans with serious medical injuries or conditions. As a donor, you ensure that the best care is right here in our backyard for those who need it.
People like Darius and his family are counting on you and so am I. Accidents can happen in an instant, and at times like these, lives can depend on your generosity.
Dr. Chris Eagle
CEO, Calgary Health Trust
P.S. By making your gift today you help other patients like Darius receive world class health care and the chance to pursue their dreams.