I’m going to live!

Jim Sproule, QCH Patient

Jim Sproule remembers the moment he realized it was going to be okay. He had been intubated for the second time and when the tube came out, he couldn’t speak. So, he asked his wife for a pen and paper and wrote the words “I’m going to live”. But his journey was far from over.

In August 2019, Jim was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Queensway Carleton Hospital (QCH), diagnosed with necrotizing pancreatitis. Instead of getting better, Jim got worse. “That is until Dr. Askshai Iyengar and his team brought me back from the brink,” says Jim.

“They fought and fought and fought to keep this thing from claiming me. It was nothing short of valiant on their part.”

Jim spent 35 days in the ICU.

His journey continued with a short stay on QCH’s Medical Unit, followed by a longer stay on the Surgery Unit where Dr. Jean Michel Aubin took over. Jim had two surgeries and many interventions to support his healing. “I can’t find a superlative to describe how great Dr. Aubin is,” explains Jim. “He is an absolute titan in his field and will always be one of the enduring heroes in my story.” For more than four months, the QCH team worked hard to make sure Jim got better, vowing not to send him home until his safety was ensured.

QCH has built its reputation as one of the region’s leading acute care hospitals by seeing the person in each patient. Jim says he absolutely agrees. “For the nurses, their job isn’t an occupation, it’s a calling. They are very invested in each patient’s recovery.”

Almost six months to the day that he was admitted to QCH, Jim finally went home. The final part of his journey continues. “The transition was difficult but it’s great to be home,” he says, stressing that his wife Carol Anne is the reason he made it through it all. “I couldn’t have emerged intact as a person without her being by my side.”

In a recent Facebook post, Jim praised the QCH team for their incredible care. “There are some real superstars at QCH, and I am grateful to all of them. Their care and compassion was magnificent and I can’t thank them enough.”