Hope Air helps patient access urgent treatment for rare condition

Hope Air helps patient access urgent treatment for rare condition

Roger and his wife Susie are from Northern Ontario, a nearly thirteen-hour drive from the hospital Roger would have to reach for his compartment syndrome surgery in Hamilton, Ontario. Roger lives near Kapuskasing, Ontario, with his wife Susie. His symptoms first began 15 years ago, with intense pressure and pain in his legs and arms that was accompanied by swelling.

After visiting several doctors near his home and in Thunder Bay, Roger was diagnosed with compartment syndrome, a condition where his muscles expanded as if he had done strenuous exercise. Compartment syndrome is a rare condition where, untreated, causes nerve damage, amputation, loss of muscle function, and kidney failure, among other consequences. Doctors did not know what caused Roger’s condition, but knew that it needed urgent medical intervention.
Roger and his wife Susie are from Northern Ontario, a nearly thirteen-hour drive from the hospital Roger would have to reach for his compartment syndrome surgery in Hamilton, Ontario. Roger lives near Kapuskasing, Ontario, with his wife Susie. His symptoms first began 15 years ago, with intense pressure and pain in his legs and arms that was accompanied by swelling.

After visiting several doctors near his home and in Thunder Bay, Roger was diagnosed with compartment syndrome, a condition where his muscles expanded as if he had done strenuous exercise. Compartment syndrome is a rare condition where, untreated, causes nerve damage, amputation, loss of muscle function, and kidney failure, among other consequences. Doctors did not know what caused Roger’s condition, but knew that it needed urgent medical intervention.
“I usually don’t get help from a doctor until things are really bad,” Roger relates. His condition had worsened over the years, causing the muscle to expand beyond the capacity of his fascia, cutting off circulation. It caused unbearable pressure and pain in all his limbs. The surgery to cut the fascia so that his muscles could expand was a surgery that doctors in the area could not provide.

Roger and Susie first drove thirteen hours to his consultation, until someone in their community who had used Hope Air’s services over 20 times for their children urged them to reach out. Susie says, “I was on the phone for 45 minutes… 3-4 days later everything was booked. It’s so well-organized.” Roger’s surgery helps him manage his chronic muscle pain caused by the expansion of his muscles.

“They have done surgery on my right arm and left leg to remove the fascia, and we must wait for these areas to heal completely before we go back to Hamilton for surgery,” Roger continues, “There is less pain and just a bit of pressure, but I still feel as though there is something in my leg, I think it’s when the muscle hits the skin because there is no fascia.”

Roger will need to travel again.

Roger and Susie were amazed by their experience travelling with Hope Air and its volunteer pilots, Paul and Jamie. They describe a story from when they first flew into Hamilton, and volunteer pilot Paul, had to pay for them to land and use the washroom at the cargo airport. With the help of Hope Air client care staff, that cargo airport is now open to all Hope Air patients who may need to fly into Hamilton.

“Now other people can land at that airport for surgeries,” Susie says.
Hope Air's Travel Assistance Request Application form is easier than ever.
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