Strides for the General Patient Stories

Brandon Clark

When Brandon felt the shotgun blast rip through his back, he could hardly believe that it was really happening to him.

“I’ll never forget April 12, 2015,” says Brandon. “I was with a few friends and we’d gone to one of their houses after a night out. After about five minutes, there was a knock on the door. A total stranger was standing there with a shotgun. He shot two of us before turning the gun on himself.”

Rushed to Hamilton General Hospital, Brandon underwent emergency surgery in the Trauma Unit to stop the bleeding and repair his injured pancreas. He had two more surgeries to remove his left kidney, resect his colon and seal his abdominal wall.

“It took about a year before I felt like my old self. The experience has changed me for the better and I’m determined not to take anything in life for granted.”

Brandon is a Patient Ambassador for Strides For The General on September 15. Register and fundraise at hamiltonhealth.ca/strides.

 


 

Daniel Armstrong

What began as a minor incident turned into a life-threatening situation for Daniel Armstrong of Hamilton.  

“I slipped on a sewer grate while running and hurt my foot,” Daniel explains. “I was fitted for a medical walking boot to help heal the injury.”

When Daniel developed difficulties breathing a few weeks later, he visited Hamilton General Hospital. A CT scan revealed that he was suffering from a dangerous pulmonary embolism.

“My walking boot was too tight, which caused a clot to form in my leg that eventually moved to my lungs. I could have died if the clots broke.”

Daniel was placed on blood thinners and was monitored for 24 hours before being discharged home. He was prescribed blood-thinning medication for six months following his initial treatment.

“I am grateful to the team at The General for caring so deeply about me. My life is back to normal because of the amazing care I received.”

Daniel is a Patient Ambassador for Strides For The General on September 15. Register and fundraise at hamiltonhealth.ca/strides.

 


 

Jeff and Jennifer Wolfenden

Jeff and Jennifer Wolfenden of Hamilton first met at a stroke survivors’ support group in 2010.

“We learned that we shared a history of heart attack and stroke,” explains Jennifer.

In 2003, Jeff was 36 years old when he was treated for a heart attack. Luckily no surgery was required and he recovered quickly.

“It was also found that I had a blood disorder that causes an increase in blood clotting,” says Jeff. “That probably contributed to my stroke in 2008. The teams at The General helped me get back on my feet.”

Jennifer was 37 years old when she suffered a heart attack in 2006 and underwent an angioplasty.

“I found myself back at The General in 2010 when I suffered a stroke,” Jennifer recalls. “I was treated with clot-busting medication and I worked with therapists to regain my strength and speech.”

Jeff and Jennifer are now married to one another and they are enjoying their physically active lifestyle together.

The Wolfendens are Patient Ambassadors for Strides For The General on September 15. Register and fundraise at hamiltonhealth.ca/strides.