Richard Tukendorf, 62, knows the stress and fear of waking up in the middle of the night with the sudden awareness that something is very wrong. Severe pain had the hardworking farmer doubled over. A trip to the washroom revealed another serious symptom: blood in his urine.
At Richard’s local Emergency Department, he had a CT scan. Doctors were concerned he might have a tumour, so he was transferred to PRHC to see a specialist.
When he arrived at the Health Centre, the urologist waiting for Richard reassured him that he didn’t think it was cancer. A scope revealed a ruptured vessel in the kidney as the source of the pain and bleeding.
But Richard’s original fears were replaced with a new worry: would he need major surgery and be laid up, unable to keep up with farm work?
“Twenty years ago, the answer to that question would have been yes,” Richard says. “Doctors would have had to remove some or even all of my kidney. But, thankfully, technology has come a long way since then.”
Instead of having conventional surgery, Richard was a candidate for innovative, minimally invasive Interventional Radiology. PRHC expert Dr. Fady Abdelsayed used a high-tech X-Ray to steer a tiny needle through Richard’s blood vessels into his kidney. He then used glue to seal the ruptured vessel to stop the bleeding. Richard was awake for the procedure, but with freezing, felt no pain. The whole procedure took about an hour.
“That’s all there is to it. Not even one stitch. The pain was gone instantly as if someone flipped a switch,” he says. “I’ve seen medical marvels in movies, but I never imagined I’d experience one.”
Richard walked out of the hospital the next day and went back to work on the farm. He’s grateful that Interventional Radiology was available to him, close to home. It’s available because donors have funded the technology and facilities PRHC’s interventional radiologists need to perform this type of procedure.
But now, PRHC’s Interventional Radiology suites are 13 years old, and they’re too small to fit the latest, state-of-the-art equipment and the number of medical experts needed to use it. The suites must be upgraded and expanded to meet the increasing need for Interventional Radiology, and to bring new lifesaving and life-changing treatment methods to our region.
Because the government only funds a portion of the hospital’s needs, donor support is essential to this investment in Interventional Radiology. With your help, PRHC will build a new step-down unit for rapid, high-demand procedures, add more recovery beds, and create more space for professionals like Dr. Abdelsayed to work. Then they’ll be able to perform more procedures for patients like Richard, who will receive the care they need with less risk, less pain and a shorter hospital stay.
You can help patients like Richard by donating online, or for more information, please call 705-876-5000.