On June 5th, 2017 the prostate cancer that had spread to Bill Huddleston’s femur had weakened the bone enough to cause a pathological fracture, sending Bill crashing to the ground of his Cumberland home.
With Bill already coping with prostate cancer, a collapsed diaphragm, diabetes and arthritis, his wife Pat knew this accident was serious.
It also happened to be Pat’s birthday but instead of celebrating the couple rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital for x-rays, then to Campbell River to see the only surgeon on call in the area. After three days, Bill was sent back to St. Joseph’s where the rehabilitation team got to work.
It wasn’t long before Bill could put weight on his leg and was allowed to go home to work on his recovery. For that Bill is forever thankful to the hospital teams that recently transferred to the North Island Hospital Comox Valley campus where Bill’s therapy continues.
“If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have gone home,” he said. “When I was first in the hospital, I’d lay there thinking, ‘Will I ever be able to use a walker again?’ Guess what? I’m in a walker, and I’m making strides and gaining ground.”
Not only has Bill transitioned to a walker; he’s physically stronger than he was prior to breaking his femur.
“He has more mobility now than he did two months before he broke his leg,” Pat said. “The doctor feels that he can probably [progress] to a cane. They’re really getting him moving.”
“I was quite concerned originally [about my recovery),” Bill added, “And sceptical, but I’m quite confident now. In the not too far future, I’m going to take my walker and go to Willemar Lake to go fishing, because I love my trout fishing, and that is going to happen, either before the snow flies or next spring.”
Feeling stronger than he has in a long time, Bill is looking forward to living life with better mobility and getting back to the things he loves; meanwhile after over five decades of marriage, his wife Pat is thankful to spend more quality time at his side.
“I’m just happy to see him getting better,” she said, emotionally. “I’ve had him for 53 years. I’d like to keep him a while longer.”
From fear and doubt came determination and strength. Bill’s story of recovery is a positive yet common one in our community.
Hip fractures from falls, knee replacements and strokes are on the rise in the Comox Valley as our population ages at a faster pace than most communities in Canada. Frequent updates to crucial medical technology can mean the need to upgrade our hospital’s equipment continuously in order to meet our community’s unique needs.
Thankfully with continued advancements in rehabilitation practices and technology, patients of all ages in the Comox Valley have the potential to recover from injuries, surgeries and traumas at a faster pace in order to return to a good quality of life quicker than ever before.
When you donate to CVHF your gift helps advance care in the various departments that make our hospital whole; department that helped patients like Bill in all stages of his journey to recovery and rehabilitation.
Our goal this Christmas is to raise the $200,000 needed to purchase new innovative technology, patient comfort and staff education for the North Island Hospital Comox Valley campus.
“The Foundation purchases items that we don’t have access to through regular funding, and that makes a difference to people’s recovery,” said Dale Graham, physiotherapist at North Island Hospital Comox Valley’s Rehabilitation Services. “We get accustomed to tiny incremental changes in our services, but it is a rare and very satisfying treat when we can suddenly make a big change in patient therapy and outcomes thanks to the Foundation’s help.”
You can help us bring more innovative technology into our community. Please donate to CVHF this Christmas, because when you give… it changes everything.
To donate to our 2017 Christmas Campaign, you can:
1) Click here to donate online
2) Call 250-331-5957
3) Mail your donation to:
Comox Valley Healthcare Foundation
101 Lerwick Road
Courtenay, BC V9N 0B9