Our Latest Patient Stories

See and hear Rick Thompson’s Inspirational ‘come back’ story. As featured at Evening of Caring Gala and our patient story for Fund A Need Campaign of 2016! #myeagleridge

Meet Salima!

Salima is Rick’s therapist. Hear Salima talk about working with this hard-working patient.

Meet Dr. Hui!

Dr. Eric Hui works with Rick to help determine best care. Hear Dr. Hui speak about Rick & our ERH Hospital.

Meet Scott!

Scott is a prosthetist – he has fitted Rick with new limbs. Hear Scott speak about Rick’s progress.

Other Patient Stories

We have a new understanding of breath...
Rhonda & her Step Dad, Lee

Rhonda & her Step Dad, Lee

When my step dad came to the Emergency Room he could barely breathe. We were unaware of what “CO2” levels were or even why they are important. His blood pressure was up & down and breathing on his own was very difficult.


Lee with Jason, Grandson & MacKenzie, Great Grand-Daughter

I would hate to think where he would be without the use of the bi-pap ventilator donated to Eagle Ridge Hospital by The TB Vets Charitable Foundation. Once on the bi-pap ventilator his level of health steadily improved. He no longer had to FIGHT to breathe. He became the person we knew again – good humour, looking forward to people and things in life. He even complained about the hospital food! (LOL)

Thank you for the bi-pap machine and a team of care givers to which we owe so much, life.


A Touching Patient Story... A Heart-warming Reunion with ER Doctor


3 years ago… Judith Castillo, mom of 11 year old Axel, came to Eagle Ridge having just spent the night up and very worried. Axel presented to our Triage Nurse with trouble breathing, very tired – but otherwise fairly normal.

The ER Dr – Dr. Jason Exner, sent this young boy for tests. Dr. Exner discussed results and taking the Mother’s concerns into account – sent him back to Medical Imaging for a chest x-ray and more blood work.

A large mass was detected, behind the heart and likely the cause of his difficult breathing. This young patient needed follow up – quickly – to have an MRI, a pediatric consult and a referral for surgery at Children’s. When it was removed it was the size of a baseball – no larger – a softball maybe… Surgery occurred a short time later at Children’s but the diagnosis was here – at ERH.

Dr. Jason Exner and the Vidal Family joined our Evening of Caring Gala to share this reunion live! It was the first time they had seen each other since that fateful day. The entire room of Gala Guests were touched by the words shared from a grateful mom.

Judith told the crowd; “I am pleased to be here and honoured to be able to say thank you in person – and I hope that by hearing our story – it shows you just how important Eagle Ridge is for our community! I must say that when Dr. Exner came back to tell us about the test results. He sat down and quietly put his hands together – I started to pray. Oh god, I thought, our journey is beginning – but we will get over this mountain…Hearing the word ‘mass’ is a scary thing for a mother – but I felt that something was really wrong. In a day our lives changed. Dr. Exner – you are the reason my son is here now – we all thank you! I’m so glad we came to Eagle Ridge Hospital! I admire my son – he makes me strong!

Then one by one, the Vidal Family came up to thank Dr. Exner – Axel – Patient, brother Laud and father Laud Sr.

By this time, many tears were shed – as Axel stood healthy and well in front of us all!

We are so grateful for our Emergency Room Doctors, nurses and all of the support services that help this team provide acute & urgent care for our community! Judith’s message at the end of her speech was clear – Please donate to Eagle Ridge – and help bring new equipment to the ER, so it is here and ready for when you need it!

Grateful Patient, Myrna Code began Fundraiser 25 years ago


Myrna Code, the creator of Eagle Ridge Hospital’s Evening of Caring Gala, first stepped into Eagle Ridge in 1990 and was impacted by the positive experience she had.

“Eagle Ridge Hospital makes you feel like a person instead of a number,” says Myrna.

After realizing the hospital needed funding, she was inspired to create a fundraiser. One-week post-surgery, Myrna approached Carol Klassen and the Board about her idea, which sparked the whole community to rally behind her.

Myrna remembers being amazed at how many doctors attended the first Gala. And what she thought would be a one-time event turned into an Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation tradition.

Myrna was involved with the Gala for 16 years, where she worked closely with volunteers and received tons of help from her daughter and son.

With the 25th anniversary fast-approaching, Myrna looks back at successes of the Gala. To name a few, Eagle Ridge was able to purchase a Merlin monitor for the operating room in 1991 and a laparoscopic cholecystectomy for gall bladder surgery in 1993.

Thank you Myrna for starting a wonderful tradition that continues to bring our community together in support of their hospital!

Surgeons, Staff and special Areola Tattoo Clinic help patients through breast cancer ... patients like Carol

Carol ShieldsMother, daughter, friend and wife are just a few of the names Carol Shields is called by her loved ones. Selfless hero and breast cancer survivor are monikers that emerge whenever Carol’s tale of true strength and courage is shared with others. This woman of incredible positivity and a quiet confidence invites us on her private journey with an illness that chases many into hiding.

The day Carol gave birth to her beautiful daughter is a day she’ll never forget. But a year and a half after bringing her princess into the world, Carol was faced with a new reality – she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. The doctor’s removed everything, except her ovaries in case she wanted to have children in the future. Finally cured, she was confronted with another grim truth. Her risk of breast cancer had shot up to 90%. Doctors advised her to take extra care and go for yearly check-ups. Carol obliged. With no history of breast cancer whatsoever, she was surprised, but what was she to do. She just went on with life.

At 38, she fell in love again and remarried. Her husband never had children, and they were enamored with the thought of having one of their own. She became pregnant and the next 9 months passed by with ease. She gave birth to a son.

Life picked up its pace and Carol stopped going for regular mammograms. A close family member was dealing with a health issue, and she made it a priority to put his care and wellbeing before anyone else’s – she was always a selfless human. After realizing that 5 years had passed since her last mammogram, Carol finally scheduled a visit to the doctor. What came next did not shock her. Doctors found cancerous cells in her left breast and she was diagnosed with deep cell carcinoma.

Everything was done privately and not a word was said to her family. No one knew the battle she was facing, she wanted to fight this one on her own. Things took a turn and her sister-in-law was also diagnosed with cancer. She lived for only a mere 2 months and passed away before the end of August. There was even more reason to keep quiet about her own condition. She did not want to worry her family; this was not their fault and she did not want to cause them pain.

Carol leaned on a handful of close friends. At the time, Dr. Turner, her surgeon and Dr. Nguyen, her plastic surgeon of Eagle Ridge Hospital, were some of her biggest supporters. They showed her care and compassion and respected her wish to keep the process private.

On October 31, 2013, Carol underwent her surgery. It was only the night before that she shared this piece of news with her family. On Halloween, she was wheeled into Eagle Ridge Hospital and had both breasts removed and both reconstructed at the same time. After 4 hours, she called her son to let him know it was all over. She also needed a coffee.

Her positive outlook and relaxed attitude contributed to the process and to her healing. Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation approached her and suggested she get the areola tattoo on her breasts. It was a way to get closure, physical and emotional. When looking in the mirror, the difficult journey of the survivor would not resurface. Carol came full circle and the areola tattoo procedure offered by the hospital gave her a new beginning. She had won this battle.

Carol recently learned that this final procedure was paid for entirely by funds raised by the Foundation. In utter awe, she is now doing everything in her power to raise money for the Foundation and the hospital that saved her life. Her calling is to give back to the community that took her under their wing during her time of need.

Embarking on this journey and coming up on the other side, Carol wants to remind others that breast cancer is very treatable. The key to winning the fight is a positive attitude and an open mind.

Please donate to the Areola Tattoo Clinic so more women in our community can have this special procedure free of charge.

Look at Who Needs Help!

This is Kymaera. She suffers from torticollis, a painful condition where the muscles are shortened on one side of her neck resulting from a lack of space her last month in-utero. She had her first appointment here at Eagle Ridge Hospital in the physiotherapy department when she was just 12 days old!

This is Kymaera. She suffers from torticollis, a painful condition where the muscles are shortened on one side of her neck resulting from a lack of space her last month in-utero. She had her first appointment here at Eagle Ridge Hospital in the physiotherapy department when she was just 12 days old! Now at 5 months, she can turn her head both directions and hold up her head almost straight. She has made great strides – but lots of tears in her sessions (new mom, Karyn cries too – hearing Kymaera cry) … it hurts to be stretched! Our therapist Bharti treats up to 40 babies a month! Our community is growing, with many new families settling in our community and new moms seek specialized therapy closer to home. Donate today to help babies in physio.

Wrapped with Love

When patients at Eagle Ridge Hospital are missing family over the holidays, our community and caring staff are wrapping them up in love and a hand-made quilt.  Patients on the Transitional Care Unit (TCU) will keep cosy while wrapped in beautiful quilts. Dianna Rastad, program clerk at Eagle Ridge Hospital has inspired others to give back to Eagle Ridge Hospital and this year, all 26 patients will be receiving lap quilts for their wheel chairs or beds.

When patients at Eagle Ridge Hospital are missing family over the holidays, our community and caring staff are wrapping them up in love and a hand-made quilt. Patients on the Transitional Care Unit (TCU) will keep cosy while wrapped in beautiful quilts. Dianna Rastad, program clerk at Eagle Ridge Hospital has inspired others to give back to Eagle Ridge Hospital and this year, all 26 patients will be receiving lap quilts for their wheel chairs or beds.

Dianna has sewn some of the quilts herself and received wonderful help by ERH nurses Kathy Carpenter and Margot Calvert (and family). As well, a group of young quilters from Como Lake Middle School, instructed by teacher Ms. Marlene Fox, made quilts in class and donated them to the patients.

In our TCU at Eagle Ridge Hospital, 26 patients stay on average 2 to 3 months, receiving excellent care while waiting to be well enough for transfer to a long-term care facility or home. If you wish to support patient care at Eagle Ridge Hospital, please make a donation now and call us at 604-469-3128.

“Little hospital – Big Heart”

Thanks to the heroic efforts of Eagle Ridge Hospital staff, 38-year-old nurse Penny Reed is alive to tell her tale of surviving a life-threatening blood clot in her lung called a pulmonary embolism. Penny’s husband Scott summed up their feelings about the ER staff with glistening eyes, “They’re all saints as far as we’re concerned!”

When Penny arrived by ambulance and went in to cardiac arrest, Dr. Jason Exner and the Emergency team quickly sprang to action. “Everyone’s energy was directed to bed 101,” said Scott. Dr. Peter Blair, who was at the hospital to perform elective surgery, was called upon to open up Penny’s chest. Then, with the whole team focused on keeping Penny alive, Dr. Exner began manual cardiac massage which he continued through the entire ambulance trip to Royal Columbian Hospital where Penny had open heart surgery.

Acute Care Director, Carol McGrandles explained, “It was a very intense time but we’re like a big family of health professionals here, and when one area needs help we all pitch in.” Staff came from many areas to provide assistance to Emergency, where resources were stretched beyond the limit. This demonstrated what many already know – even though Eagle Ridge is a small community hospital, it is one with a big heart.

Penny said, “I think that lots of people see the ‘Hospital’ and ‘Emergency’ signs as they drive by and think that a hospital is a hospital. They would probably be surprised to know that Eagle Ridge doesn’t offer all of the services they expect. However, when you are truly sick and arrive at Emergency, they are there for you.”

Arthur Lyons

On August 13, 2006, a neighbour called to say my brother Frank, age 86, had taken a spell and urged me to come right away. When I got there I found Frank unable to communicate clearly; unable to stand. After an anxious call to 911, an ambulance came quickly and transported him to Eagle Ridge Hospital straight away.

Skill and compassionate care save a life

The emergency staff took him right in and hooked him up to monitors. They diagnosed a mild stroke and decided to keep him overnight for observation. Frank was transferred to the Monitored Care Unit where, later that night, he suffered another stroke; this was a massive one that did severe damage. There was no way to prevent it but thank God he was attached to equipment that alerted the staff right away, enabling them to act quickly to save his life. It was only later that I learned the equipment that saved Frank’s life would not have been available without the gift of donor dollars.

Unfortunately, today, Frank struggles with his speech and motor functions. Otherwise, he’s doing fine. He spent four months at Eagle Ridge and received only the very best care. The staff is so warm, friendly and caring. We bonded with everyone involved in his care and rehabilitation; so many of them became like family. Each day we visited Frank, the people at the hospital made it feel like home.

Caden and Lisa Boesel

Our story began when Caden was only three. Little boys are usually indestructible – full of noise and energy and unstoppable questions. Caden was none of those things right then. He had been ill for three weeks with high fevers, nausea, swelling behind his ear and dehydration that saw him lose 10 lbs. We took him to umpteen doctors and in spite of antibiotics for an ear infection, Caden kept getting worse. He was a sick little boy who couldn’t get the help he needed. Not being able to help him made me feel guilty and vulnerable. The lump had grown to the size of a red golf ball and on February 14, Valentine’s Day, in desperation and not knowing where else to turn, I took him to the Emergency Department at Eagle Ridge Hospital.

Caden was seen right away by Dr. Joe Haegart and Jeannette Gordon, the Emergency RN, who immediately diagnosed his condition as mastoiditis. They swiftly drained the infection and sent Caden by ambulance for a CT scan. They were so sympathetic and caring. Jeanette had such a calming effect on me. Her reassurances made me feel safer. The Eagle Ridge team was so quick and efficient in their actions.

I’d never been in an ambulance before and was still pretty scared. When I next saw Caden he was full of IV lines and about to be transferred to Children’s Hospital for an emergency craniotomy. The scan showed the infection had entered his scull and was close to his brain. He was in real danger and I kept thinking, “This can’t be real”.

Following a 3 1/2 hour operation to relieve the pressure on his brain, his first words on waking up were, “Mommy, I want a donut”. As the tears rolled down my cheek, all I could utter was “Thank you, God, for saving my little boy”. I will be ever grateful for the thoroughness and skill of Dr. Haegart and Jeannette Gordon. Their swift action saved Caden’s life.

After two weeks in the hospital, Caden came home but had to return to Eagle Ridge twice a day for IV therapy for the next six weeks. On each visit he reconnected with Jeannette and they have developed a special bond that makes Caden look forward to his visits to Eagle Ridge. They’ve become good pals.

Together we keep you beating…
Sign up for The Pulse e-newsletter to learn about our community support for new medical equipment and programs. See the Doctor’ Corner, patient stories and read about our caring staff who look after you when you are sick. Check out our fundraiser event section to keep up with what’s new. We look forward to dropping into your inbox each and every month!