“It’s a loop: when you support the foundation, they support you and it all comes back.” When Norm’s heart broke, he was rushed to Royal Columbian.

 He had a tear in his aorta. A tear that, if not caught, could be fatal. “We were very lucky that we’re this close to a world class organization,” said his wife, Betty.

Going in, neither of them knew what an aortic dissection was — or what would happen next. It didn’t stay that way for long. “At every stage, I felt I was informed,” Norm recalled. “I felt at ease. I knew everything that I wanted to know.” “Everyone was so caring,” added Betty. “I was there every day and his nurses were just really caring to me too, knowing that I was sitting there watching him.” Thankfully, Norm’s broken heart was repaired and he was able to return home with Betty.

“I am alive, healthy and enjoying retirement because of RCH,” he told us with a smile. “We thought it was important to share Norm’s story so people know what RCH is capable of,” said Betty.

But the couple is sharing more than just their story. They’ve recently started making a monthly donation to Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation, too!

“It’s a way we could be thankful for what we got from the hospital,” said Betty. “But we also realized what the foundation does for the hospital. I mean, whatever technology was used to diagnose Norm has to come from somewhere. With that knowledge, we knew we had to pay it back in a way.”

“We benefited from the previous donors, so we just want to be a part of the cycle,” reflected Norm. “Hopefully, people in front of us in the future will keep this going.” Both Norm and Betty are passionate about making sure everyone in our province has access to the best healthcare. And they’re using their monthly gifts to do it!

“The more resources RCH has, the more access there will be for more people,” said Norm.

“Norm’s health issues made us stop and think of what’s really important,” added Betty. “We’re so thankful that he survived and is pretty much healthy!”

Patient Stories