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

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

Foreign Workers Program

Temporary foreign workers program spurs increasing unemployment in western Canada: Report

LEE-ANNE GOODMAN THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA — A new report by the C.D. Howe Institute is harshly critical of the federal government’s controversial temporary foreign…
Continue Reading »

Suspect-Cyberbullying-sextortion

Amanda Todd: Prosecutor says suspect in extortion case could be extradited before Dutch trial

JAMES KELLER THE CANADIAN PRESS VANCOUVER — A Dutch man accused of surreptitiously capturing webcam footage of British Columbia teen Amanda Todd, as well as…
Continue Reading »

India-Canada-Nuclear tests

Henry Kissinger apologized for rebuking Canada over India’s nuclear test: White House memo

IAN MACLEOD OTTAWA CITIZEN OTTAWA — Former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger privately apologized to Canada during a 1974 Ottawa meeting for publicly implying…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Foreign Workers Program

Temporary foreign workers program spurs increasing unemployment in western Canada: Report

LEE-ANNE GOODMAN THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA — A new report by the C.D. Howe Institute is harshly critical of the federal government’s controversial temporary foreign…
Continue Reading »

Suspect-Cyberbullying-sextortion

Amanda Todd: Prosecutor says suspect in extortion case could be extradited before Dutch trial

JAMES KELLER THE CANADIAN PRESS VANCOUVER — A Dutch man accused of surreptitiously capturing webcam footage of British Columbia teen Amanda Todd, as well as…
Continue Reading »

India-Canada-Nuclear tests

Henry Kissinger apologized for rebuking Canada over India’s nuclear test: White House memo

IAN MACLEOD OTTAWA CITIZEN OTTAWA — Former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger privately apologized to Canada during a 1974 Ottawa meeting for publicly implying…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

NRI diaspora

Bride dumps addict NRI groom on wedding day

VANCOUVER DESI In Jalandhar, a  city dominated by NRIs, a woman dumped her newly wedded NRI husband after becoming suspicious that he was a drug…
Continue Reading »

Religion

British tourist to be deported from Sri Lanka for sporting a Buddha tattoo

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lankan authorities will deport a British tourist for having an image of Buddha tattooed on her arm,…
Continue Reading »

India-Australia

Indian student granted asylum in Australia because he’s gay

IANS Sydney – A gay Indian student, who fled his country to escape his oppressive family and an arranged marriage, has been granted refugee status…
Continue Reading »

Desi Dad

Single dad smuggles daughter in suitcase from Morocco to Spain (w/video, photos)

CEN AGENCY A Moroccan dad who tried to smuggle his daughter into Spain by hiding her in a suitcase so that she could have a…
Continue Reading »

Mouse deer

World’s smallest deer that’s more like a ‘mouse’ born at a Spain zoo

CEN AGENCY The world’s smallest deer – more like a mouse – with a heritage stretching back millions of years has been born at a…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Poland-Bollywood

Salman Khan: More and more Bollywood producers should opt for Poland

SURENDER BHUTANI IANS  Warsaw – It was mere destiny that superstar Salman Khan flew here to shoot his upcoming film “Kick”. Impressed with the scenic…
Continue Reading »

Salman Khan-Jacqueline Fernandez

London bus drives off Warsaw Bridge causing panic, turns out to be a Bollywood shoot (w/video, photos)

CEN AGENCY Polish police received panicked calls after this London double-decker bus drove off a bridge, and plummeted into a river in the Polish capital…
Continue Reading »

Music-Bollywood-desi sex symbol

Priyanka Chopra’s latest single ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ already a hit on iTunes in 24 hours

IANS Mumbai – The going is great for actor-singer Priyanka Chopra. She is out with her third solo single “I can’t make you love me”,…
Continue Reading »