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

asdlkfjdal

‘I don’t get turned down by girls:’ Calgary man jailed after stalking university classmate

DARYL SLADE CALGARY HERALD A man who became infatuated with a woman in his university class last year then repeatedly stalked her has been jailed….
Continue Reading »

U.S. Republican lawmaker Curt Clawson. Submitted photo/Twitter.

Republican lawmaker apologizes for mistaking U.S. officials as Indian at congressional hearing

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON — A freshman Republican lawmaker has apologized for mistaking two senior U.S. government officials as Indian when they testified at a…
Continue Reading »

File photo: A Sierra Leone kabaddi player (R) is tackled by his British opponent during the 4th World Cup Kabaddi Punjab 2013 tournament at a stadium in Chohla Sahib (Tarn Taran), about 55 kms from Amritsar on December 2, 2013. NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images

India’s Pro Kabaddi League signs Canadian TV deal

PATRICK JOHNSTON VANCOUVER DESI Canada’s largest South Asian broadcaster, Asian Television Network (ATN), has signed on with India’s Pro-Kabaddi League. The eight-team league launched on…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

asdlkfjdal

‘I don’t get turned down by girls:’ Calgary man jailed after stalking university classmate

DARYL SLADE CALGARY HERALD A man who became infatuated with a woman in his university class last year then repeatedly stalked her has been jailed….
Continue Reading »

File photo: A Sierra Leone kabaddi player (R) is tackled by his British opponent during the 4th World Cup Kabaddi Punjab 2013 tournament at a stadium in Chohla Sahib (Tarn Taran), about 55 kms from Amritsar on December 2, 2013. NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images

India’s Pro Kabaddi League signs Canadian TV deal

PATRICK JOHNSTON VANCOUVER DESI Canada’s largest South Asian broadcaster, Asian Television Network (ATN), has signed on with India’s Pro-Kabaddi League. The eight-team league launched on…
Continue Reading »

Today in History – Aug. 7

Advance THE CANADIAN PRESS Today in History for Aug. 7: On this date: In AD 117, Roman emperor Marcus Trajan died at age 65. His…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

india flag2

Sporting fans disappointed as Indian flag depicted upside down in Commonwealth Games promotional video

VANCOUVER DESI India is already making headlines as the Commonwealth Games officially kick off in Glasgow – but not for sporting-related reasons. In an official…
Continue Reading »

INDIA_RAPE_PROTEST_217126232

Angry villagers mob alleged suspects after another girl found hanging from tree in India

KOUSHIK DUTTA HINDUSTAN TIMES A 7-year-old girl was found raped, murdered and hanging from a tree in West Bengal on Thursday, resurfacing horrific memories from…
Continue Reading »

525020624_213567324

Indian baby whose head swelled to three times its size smiling and laughing a year later (w/ photos)

VANCOUVER DESI A three-year-old girl in New Delhi who was given little chance of survival after her head swelled to three times its normal size…
Continue Reading »

An Indian private tutor was caught on CCTV camera brutally beating a child. YouTube screenshot

Private tutor who mercilessly beat child finally arrested in Kolkata

IANS Kolkata  – Private tutor Pooja Singh, who was caught on video brutally thrashing a three-and-a-half-year-old child in Kolkata, was finally arrested Friday, police said….
Continue Reading »

child abuse

Indian kidnappers agree to handover boy to parents on condition of swapping him for his sister

CEN AGENCY In a bizarre demand, parents of an Indian boy who has been kidnapped, were told that they could have youngster back if they…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Indian Bollywood Hindi film director Mahesh Bhatt reads during the launch of the book 'Aaliya' in Mumbai on December 5, 2013. STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

Miffed over fake Facebook account, Mahesh Bhatt heads to police

IANS Mumbai — Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt has warned his fans against a fake Facebook account created under his name and says that he will approach…
Continue Reading »

1KUMAR

Akshay Kumar performance to kick off kabaddi league in London

IANS New Delhi  – Bollywood action star Akshay Kumar will perform on the inaugural day of the Wave World Kabaddi League (WWKL), starting Aug 9…
Continue Reading »

Indian Bollywood actors Jacqueline Fernandez (L) and Salman Khan pose for a photograph during a promotional event for the forthcoming Hindi film Kick, produced and directed by Sajid Nadiadwala, in Mumbai on late June 15, 2014. STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

Salman Khan’s Eid luck works in favour of Kick release

IANS Mumbai — If you go by the box office collection of Salman Khan’s Kick, you’d agree that the superstar – whose Eid releases like…
Continue Reading »