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Your Stories

Heartfelt Thanks for Lifesaving Surgery

Eileen Sacks & Jennifer Pauze

When Jennifer Pauzé arrived at the Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) Emergency Room in June 2019, she had been struggling with debilitating stomach pain on and off for nearly six years.

She’d had numerous ultrasounds and tests, resulting in various diagnoses, including Celiac Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  But no change in diet or treatment seemed to help.

She was in constant, unrelenting pain. 

Jennifer, a young mom of three, had lost 40lbs within a month because she couldn’t keep anything down and she was so sick that she often curled up on the bathroom floor unable to move.

“I was in so much pain that I couldn’t stand, walk or even lie down. I remember telling my husband that I felt like I was dying.”

In the Emergency Department, Jennifer was seen by Dr. Vik Ralhan who immediately sent her for a CT scan, which showed that there was a large blockage in her bowels. The blockage was very alarming, and Dr. Ralhan referred Jennifer to me for emergency abdominal surgery.

During Jennifer’s surgery, a shocking discovery was made.

“Dr. Sacks (my surgeon) was not expecting to see what she did. I had colon cancer,” says Jennifer. “Dr. Sacks removed the mass and 40 of my lymph nodes which thankfully all came back negative. Amazingly, my body had built such a large callus around the mass trying to protect itself, that the cancer hadn’t spread.”  

Today, Jennifer has made a full recovery and she is incredibly grateful to have her life back. Just like we’re thankful to caring donors like you for so generously supporting our hospital and community.

As a physician on the front lines at GBGH, I can tell you first hand that the impact of your giving is undeniable. Which is why I wanted to write to you today to thank you for your generosity and ask you to please renew your much-needed support to help fund urgently needed equipment, expand critical programs and help make more life-saving stories like Jennifer’s possible. 

Thanks to caring donors like you who helped purchase a new CT scanner, operating table, surgical tower, hospital beds, stretchers and countless other pieces of equipment, Jennifer received the lifesaving diagnosis, surgery and treatment she needed, when she needed it, to finally get her life back and be the happy, healthy mom she wanted to be.

“The care and surgery that I had at GBGH literally saved my life,” says Jennifer.

“I am 100% grateful. GBGH gave me back my life. Now instead of being sick on the couch or lying on the bathroom floor, I can swim and dance with my kids. Take them places and do all the things I couldn’t do before, traveling and spending time as a family.”

Once again, thank you for your generosity and commitment to care. As Jennifer’s story shows, your giving is not only improving, but saving lives and for that and many other reasons, we are deeply grateful to have you by our side.

With heartfelt thanks,

Dr. Eileen Sacks M.D., FRCSC, FACS
General Surgeon
Georgian Bay General Hospital

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