People from across the community come together for Relay for Life, sometimes putting their regular activities on hold to fundraise for this Canadian Cancer Society fundraiser.
For the past seven years, Keith Hill and his sons Hayden and Mackenzie has devoted the run-up to Relay with fervent pledge collections for their head shave at Relay every year.
However, this year all did not go to plan and their annual fundraising campaign was stopped in its tracks.
Keith’s wife Nadine was in medical crisis.
A knee injury which happened when she was a teenager, had plagued Nadine on and off for many years. After several years of pain and suffering including a procedure that temporarily eliminated her symptoms, Keith, Nadine and the boys moved to Quesnel where her new family doctor sent her to a surgical specialist in Kamloops who claimed she had the worst knees he’d every seen.
But he cautioned her that knee replacement had a limited life and he recommended, because of her age and other heath factors she should wait as long as possible before agreeing to the surgery.
As her symptoms became more frequent, affecting her work and family life, Nadine contacted the surgeon and a February 2014 date was set.
As part of his pre-surgical consultation, the surgeon cautioned Nadine about the risk of infection. He estimated her recovery would be between six and 16 weeks if all went well. It didn’t.
Recovering was, at first, uneventful, just as one would hope but with increased swelling and redness at the surgery site, Nadine’s physiotherapist suggested she contact her surgeon who recognized the symptoms description as infection. An appointment was set for the following week where he withdrew fluid from her knee which confirmed infection. Surgery was scheduled for the following week but with strict instructions to go immediately to Quesnel’s emergency should anything change for the worst. It did.
The redness extended to the entire leg from thigh to ankle and Keith rushed his wife to the hospital where she was admitted for intravenous antibiotics. She remained in hospital for four days at which time she was discharged in order for Keith to transport Nadine to Kamloops for the surgery which would remove the recently implanted knee. That was just days before Quesnel’s Relay for Life.
At the time of surgery, the surgeon put in a cement spacer where the knee joint will be. Nadine has no knee in her leg at this time. She isn’t allowed to bear any weight on the leg and must travel in a wheelchair anytime she’s outside the house. A tiny 42cm pic-line administers the antibiotics.
Before her surgeon will even consider any more surgery, Nadine must have zero infection results of bloodwork. She continues with six-week cycles on IV antibiotics then six weeks of oral antibiotics then open, exploratory surgery to make sure the infection is gone before the next knee surgery.
Keith has used all his vacation time from work throughout this ordeal and the family is in need of a little help.
A benefit dance is slated for June 21 at the Elks Hall. Even if you don’t know this community-minded family, the dance is an excellent opportunity to have a good time, enjoy dancing to the band Bronco, who are donating their services to the cause and have a chance to win some great silent auction items. What better excuse for a good time than helping a family through a difficult time.
Tickets are $25 a couple or $15 each available at Circle S Western Wear or Good Health Pharmacy. For information or to donate to the silent auction contact Colleen Combs, 250-992-6290 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
All proceeds go to the Hill Family to help with Nadine’s ongoing medical expenses.
Keith and the boys still managed to raise $1,210 this year and the whole family was at Relay for the headshave. Over the seven years they have raised $7,264 for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.