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A look back at some top Providence stories in Year 2 of the pandemic

japleen gill with son
Japleen Gill and husband Gaurav with baby Jeevan. Photo: Priya Brar

2021 continued to challenge Providence Health Care, as COVID made it adapt to how it looked after its patients and residents, prompted it to conduct research into the ever-evolving COVID virus and made it come together under onerous conditions to continue to save and improve lives. 

Here are some highlights from the Daily Scan.

Strength in numbers – large St. Paul’s team saves life of Vancouver mom and baby

Japleen Gill was born with a heart condition that didn’t interfere much with her life – until the second trimester of her pregnancy, when she developed severe endocarditis of her aortic valve.

Quickly a team of 30 people from multiple specialties gathered to keep this very sick mom-to-be and her baby safe.

Check out how this large team came together

Bionic Hearing: No longer science fiction

A first in BC, nine-hour, auditory brainstem implant surgery was performed by clinicians at St. Paul’s and Vancouver General Hospitals this year.

“We realized we had the expertise and equipment to do it here. The most challenging part of the procedure is removing the tumour near the nerve and we are fortunate to have a capable BC-based surgical team who are very experienced with tumour removal,” said Dr. Brian Westerberg, surgeon with St. Paul’s Adult Cochlear Implant Program.

Read up on how we’re one step closer to The Bionic Woman

The Mountie got his man; the man got his heart

Qualicum Beach couple William (Ray) and Suzie Bruce awoke one night last fall by a simple sentence from Suzie’s daughter: “Mom, Ray, they have a heart.” This simple sentence was the culmination of a frantic, hours-long effort by health care providers at St. Paul’s Hospital to contact Ray, who was on the waiting list for a heart transplant.

Check out the story of Ray’s heart transplant

Yukon dads mark first father’s day with support from St. Paul’s NICU

New dads Greg Shaw (L), Allen Penny (R) and baby Yukon

Gregory Shaw and Allen Penny spent two and a half weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) after their son, Yukon Shaw-Penny, was born prematurely and required specialized care.

“We are so grateful we ended up at St. Paul’s. We don’t even have the words to express how wonderful the care was,” said Penny.

Read Yukon’s story

St. Paul’s Hospital researchers develop an Alzheimer’s diagnostic test

Dr. Mari DeMarco

Over half a million Canadians are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of dementia. But a new test developed by St. Paul’s clinical chemist Dr. Mari DeMarco and her team promises to help patients get a diagnosis and help them and their families plan for the future.

Read the story here.

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