Thomas’ miracle recovery will highlight Night of Miracles fundraiser (w/ video)

Published: October 17, 2013

LARISSA CAHUTE 
VANCOUVER DESI 

West Vancouver’s Tracy Dignum can still vividly recall the day her youngest son suffered a severe stroke.

While at school, Thomas, then six years old, got hit by a soccer ball to the head, suffered the stroke, torn blood vessels in his neck and clots in his brain stem.

“He couldn’t move anything, he couldn’t talk, he couldn’t swallow,” said Dignum, a physical therapist.

She knew it was bad — “an absolute death sentence,” she said. “To be watching your child and think, ‘This is it, he’s not going to make it and if he does he’s never going to be able to do anything.’ It was an absolute nightmare.”

Tracy Dignum and son Thomas relax at home in West Vancouver on October 17, 2013. They are part of the Night of Miracles event. (Wayne Leidenfrost/ PNG)

But “stars aligned” when Dr. Manraj Heran suggested interventional radiology — a minimally invasive procedure, where instead of making a major incision for surgery, doctors insert a catheter and use imaging technology, like X-rays, CT scans, or ultrasounds, to guide them. Thomas was the first child in B.C. to undergo such a procedure.

Today, Thomas is 12-years-old and has “basically all of his functions back,” said Dignum. He doesn’t play contact sports, but he’s a great swimmer and a gifted student.

So it’s only fitting that Thomas is part of the South Asian community’s fifth annual A Night of Miracles gala in support of B.C. Children’s Hospital on Saturday at the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel. Event organizers have pledged $3 million towards the construction of an interventional radiology room, as part of B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation’s (BCCHF) Campaign for B.C. Children, which is working to raise $200 million for a new hospital at 28th and Oak, scheduled for completion in 2018.

“(Thomas is) still alive because they did this interventional radiology,” said Dignum. “He’s the perfect poster boy for (A Night of Miracles).”

Dr. Manraj Heran, interventional radiologist with a $3 million dollar Bi-plane Angiography machine, which enables doctors to perform life-saving image guided procedures at B.C. Children’s Hospital. Mark van Manen/ PNG

The event’s founding chair, Robin Dhir, started the gala five years ago because he wanted a black tie affair for the local South Asian community.

“(I was) a bit troubled with some of the types of news stories that were coming out about the community,” Dhir said, referencing drug and gang-related problems. “That’s not a good representation.”

He met with staff at BCCHF, and “the next thing you know we have this gala that’s going on to Year Five.”

BCCHF relies on support from events like A Night of Miracles, not only for the capital campaign, but for the hospital’s overall needs — like a dedicated interventional radiology room.

“If there’s surgery that involves bigger incisions, then children will often have to stay in the hospital overnight,” said BCCHF spokesman Stephen Forgacs. “Often after interventional radiology procedures the children go home the same day.”

A Night of Miracles expects to draw about 400 people for the night of dinner and dancing. And, course, this year’s A Night of Miracles Champion, Thomas Dignum, will be there.

“We were very, very lucky it worked out as well as it did,” said his mother. “Now we will do anything we can to support children’s radiology.”

For more information visit bcchf.ca/anom.

lcahute@theprovince.com
twitter.com/larissacahute

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,




Featured

TK

Four hospitalized after apparent Surrey street race ends with car wedged under semi-trailer

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY — A 16-year-old girl and her passengers are lucky to be alive after the grey Honda Accord she was driving…
Continue Reading »

BC politics scam

Maybe next year for trial related to the B.C. Liberals’ ethnic outreach scandal

Brian Bonney, a former Liberal government employee, and Mark Robertson, an active B.C. Liberal Party worker, face several charges under the Elections Act CASSIDY OLIVER…
Continue Reading »

crime-Surrey

Surrey Mounties hunting three suspects after five cabbies robbed

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY — Five Surrey cab drivers have been robbed over the past months and Surrey Mounties are asking for the public’s…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

TK

Four hospitalized after apparent Surrey street race ends with car wedged under semi-trailer

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY — A 16-year-old girl and her passengers are lucky to be alive after the grey Honda Accord she was driving…
Continue Reading »

BC politics scam

Maybe next year for trial related to the B.C. Liberals’ ethnic outreach scandal

Brian Bonney, a former Liberal government employee, and Mark Robertson, an active B.C. Liberal Party worker, face several charges under the Elections Act CASSIDY OLIVER…
Continue Reading »

crime-Surrey

Surrey Mounties hunting three suspects after five cabbies robbed

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY — Five Surrey cab drivers have been robbed over the past months and Surrey Mounties are asking for the public’s…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver Ross Street Sikh Temple

Media-savvy Narendra Modi’s one year in photos as India’s prime minister

VANCOUVER DESI Check out photos of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he completes one year in office. Modi is one of India’s most social…
Continue Reading »

Alberta Securities Commission

Alberta securities regulator fines Energy TV producer Neil Chandran $400,000

DAN HEALING POSTMEDIA NEWS CALGARY — The independent Calgary television producer who put Energy TV on the air says he “deeply regrets” losses suffered by…
Continue Reading »

Surrey Shooting

‘This is really close to home’: Two cars exchange gunfire in Surrey neighbourhood

CHERYL CHAN VANCOUVER DESI Another bout of gunfire rocked a Surrey neighbourhood Sunday evening. Newton resident Doug Elford tweeted about hearing gunfire outside his home…
Continue Reading »

masturbation

Masturbation causes pregnant hands in afterlife, says Turkish preacher

HINDUSTAN TIMES An Islamic televangelist from Turkey has created a storm on social media by claiming that any man who masturbates will find his hands…
Continue Reading »

sexual harssment

Migrant women fear speaking out about sexual harassment in Florida’s farms

EMILIO J. LOPEZ IANS/EFE Miami – Women working on Florida’s farms, most of them undocumented immigrants, are constantly exposed to sexual harassment, workers’ rights activists…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood designer-actress

Shraddha Kapoor visits ‘Baaghi’ set ahead of shoot

IANS Mumbai – Actress Shraddha Kapoor, who will be seen playing the lead in Sajid Nadiadwala’s “Baaghi” starring Tiger Shroff, took time out from her…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood movies

Playing Kashibai in Bajirao Mastani emotionally draining for Bollywood beauty Priyanka Chopra

IANS Mumbai – Actress Priyanka Chopra who will be portraying the role of Maratha warrior Peshwa Bajirao’s first wife in “Bajirao Mastani”, says her character…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

I’ve fallen in love with acting, says Lauren Gottlieb

IANS Mumbai – A successful dancer from the US, Lauren Gottlieb has been trying her luck in Bollywood. Ahead of the release of her next…
Continue Reading »