For Ruth & Dave

Four months ago my friend Ruth heard a thud and found her husband, Dave, laying on the bathroom floor, ghostly pale and staring wide-eyed.  Ruth immediately called an ambulance and while on the phone, was horrified to see her husband rise and fall several more times.  The quick call for paramedics more than likely saved his life.  Dave was taken to Vic General where an emergency CT Scan and speedy blood work prompted another ambulance to rush him to Royal Jubilee for emergency surgery less than an hour after leaving their home.  It turned out that an abdominal aortic aneurysm had burst (one of multiple previously undetected aneurysms), his chest was full of blood and infection was raging through his upper body.  Dave was given less than a 50/50 chance of survival, even with the immediate surgery.

Two gifted surgeons spent over 10 hours working valiantly to save his life.  The head surgeon told us that when he opened Dave’s chest he expected blood to spill out; however, instead all that could be seen was infection.  Dave survived the surgery to replace his entire aorta, top to bottom, and was kept in an induced-coma for almost a week to allow the body to begin to heal.  The surgeon said that he had no idea how Dave even made it this far.  I believe it shows the strength and tenacity of a man who wants to live!

We still don't know what the long term looks like.  To date, the infection seems to have run its course, Dave has received dialysis to restart his kidneys (they protested the 10-hour blood starvation during the surgery) and physiotherapy to learn to walk again has begun.  The hospital is still Dave’s home for now, but maybe soon we'll be able to plan for the future.

I started this page to ask if anyone could help them out.  My friends are hard-working persons of low income and so don't have benefits or savings to fall back on.  They will need a lot of help in the next year to come, and Dave may very likely need a wheelchair or at least a walker.  Ruth has been working 2 jobs to make ends meet, but it has been difficult.  They also face the prospect of moving because their home of almost 25-years, which is far out of town and not on a bus route, has too many stairs and it will be difficult for Dave to manoeuvre.

We don't really have a prognosis and won't for some time to come.  We do know that the recovery time may be more than a year although we are told that he may be fighting the chance of infection for the rest of his life and that more surgeries are inevitable.  No one could have anticipated the sudden fall of a seemingly healthy man, but they are getting through it with the help and support of amazing friends and family.  Ruth is the rock that keeps this family together and we just want to be able to help her in the best way we can.  We can provide buckets of emotional and moral support; unfortunately, we simply don't have the financial means.  Unexpected costs have arisen for Ruth - the increased gas to and from the hospital for the last 4 months, the parking costs once there, a car crash that precipitated an earlier-than-expected purchase of a new vehicle that someday Dave can get in and out of, and renovations to the house (or saving to move to a new house) so he can comfortably come home someday to name just a few!  She is also hoping to get a dog-walker or doggie daycare for their now lonely fur baby - even though Ruth is there with her, every night the dog sits for a while staring out the window.  I think she is waiting for Dave to come home…

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy lives and if you can help out in any way it would be very greatly appreciated.

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Donations (0)

  • Demetrios Tsimon 
    • $200 
    • 7 mos
  • Michael Denny 
    • $40 
    • 7 mos
  • Roy Capellaro 
    • $100 
    • 12 mos
  • Stefan Sievert 
    • $100 
    • 14 mos
  • Graemme Brown 
    • $50 
    • 15 mos

Organizer and beneficiary 

Bonnie Scott 
Victoria, BC
Ruth de Fehr 
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