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Patient Story

Jim's Story

"I'm alive today to see my grandchildren grow"

One morning in June of 2013, Jim woke up with a strange pain in his side. It wasn't a big deal at the time, but something about the unusual way it was aching made him go straight to the Emergency Room. He's lucky that he did.

Shortly after he arrived at Lakeridge Health, Jim learned that he had spots on his kidneys. Only days later it was discovered that he had cancer.

Jim and his family were devastated but they knew they were in good hands at their local Hospital.
"I was shocked to hear I had cancer, but the process hasn't been unpleasant," says Jim. "They explained everything that was going on and why."

Jim had one of his kidneys removed hoping the second could be treated using an innovative procedure called radio frequency ablation. The treatment uses high-frequency electrical currents to destroy cancer cells.  Unfortunately for Jim, his kidney didn't hold up as expected. At his six-month follow-up appointment, his cancer had spread and his second kidney would have to be removed as well. This meant Jim would need to start on kidney dialysis right away.

To begin receiving dialysis Jim had to return to our interventional radiology unit to have a catheter inserted in his chest so that the dialysis machines have direct access to clean his blood.  Jim now comes to Lakeridge Health three times a week, every week, for his treatments. 

"It has been really convenient to receive dialysis right here in Durham Region," Jim says. "Everyone has been so welcoming and it's been easy for me to get into a routine when I don't have to travel to Toronto for treatment."

This was especially true for Jim when his youngest son was getting married. Having his hospital close by meant that Jim could receive his dialysis early one Saturday morning and be done in time to attend his son's wedding.
Because he had cancer on both his kidneys - which was extremely rare - Jim underwent genetics testing through Lakeridge Health to see if there were any hereditary links.

"They discovered that there was nothing genetic about my condition, which was a relief," says Jim. "It was also one more building block our medical team could use in the future with other patients."

Jim's connection with Lakeridge Health may be deeper than most - all of his grandchildren have been born at our Hospital. When he was ill, this was the first place that Jim went. As his needs evolve, Jim continues to receive care from several different departments.

"This hospital is a city unto itself," says Jim. "There are so many wonderful people here helping me. If it wasn't for Lakeridge Health, I wouldn't be alive today to see my grandchildren grow.  My wife and I are very grateful."
Jim and his family are also grateful for the support their community has given Lakeridge Health Foundation. Because of donations from generous individuals and organizations, the hospital can purchase new, state-of-the-art equipment such as new dialysis machines.

"Through my experience, I've realized everything that is involved in operating a hospital of this calibre," says Jim. "I've seen the manpower, the machines, genetic research, absolutely everything that is going on behind the scenes. And it's all because of donor support. I'm so thankful for that. I wanted to be a part of it too [by donating to Lakeridge Health Foundation]."