It was spring 2020 when Karl was in a motorcycle accident and hit his head. A professional racer, Karl was of course wearing a helmet, and at first everything seemed ok, but that night, he just couldn’t sleep. Wide awake without so much as a yawn of fatigue, Karl was confused and increasingly alarmed by this sudden insomnia. So the next morning, he went to the nearest walk-in-clinic where he was immediately redirected to his local hospital.
A CT scan revealed a colloid cyst: a benign brain tumour that had likely been growing Karl’s whole life. The doctors believed that Karl’s accident had disturbed the cyst – which until this point, hadn’t given Karl any trouble – and feared that it could burst at any moment. The consequences of it rupturing would likely be fatal.
He was rushed to Hamilton General Hospital by ambulance. There, an MRI confirmed the presence of the cyst and doctors affirmed the precarious situation Karl was in. He needed brain surgery to remove the cyst.
Fortunately, one of the leading surgeons in this field, Dr. Ekkehard Kasper, was visiting Hamilton General Hospital at the time, training the hospital’s capable surgeons to do the exact operation that Karl needed.
Thanks in part to the support of caring donors who invest in training and education opportunities for Hamilton Health Sciences staff, such a high level of care was available and Karl was able to have surgery the next day.
After undergoing brain surgery, Karl had to work with a psychologist at the hospital for mental rehabilitation. It was a long and hard journey, as he suffered a lot of memory loss and had to relearn fine motor skills.
But Karl fought hard to rediscover himself and today he is doing well and has a new outlook on life.
For Karl, it was strange to never the meet the doctor who saved his life. Due to the pandemic, Karl never got to shake the hand of his surgeon or the nurses that cared for him when he was most vulnerable.
Nevertheless, Karl is grateful for the staff at Hamilton General Hospital and the caring donors who helped to ensure he had the best care possible when he was truly depending on it. Donate now at giftofhealth.ca to ensure all patients like Karl receive exceptional care when they need it most.