Your Impact - Jared Maes' Story
On a cold winter night in Winnipeg, Jared Maes left his friend’s place on his snowmobile trek back home to Niverville, unaware of how his life would soon change.  Driving through the dark with his headlights on, Jared crested over an embankment and crashed into a drainage ditch hurling his body directly on top of the vehicle.
Waking later, his hands frozen stiff and unable to use his smartphone, Jared wondered if he was ever going to see his three-year-old son again.  With everything he had, Jared managed to pull himself out of the ditch and crawled on his stomach for a mile to the yard of an elderly couple who could finally offer help, and warmth.
Unbeknownst to Jared, he had torn his aorta, broken his lower back, had several fractures on his knees and other bones, and was bleeding internally.
His friends picked him up and brought him to the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg. His first point of contact was Dr. Michael Goytan, an orthopedic surgeon at HSC.

Jared's spine before and after surgery
Jared was referred for an emergency aortic repair, and then returned to HSC for emergency spine surgery.  It was a critical situation that needed attention immediately in order to restore function to his lower limbs as well as his bowel and bladder.  Late that night, Dr. Goytan performed highly specialized surgery using titanium spinal implants and a thighbone to reconstruct Jared’s lower back.
"I was in a lot of pain and wasn’t very cheerful.  They’d replaced my vertebrae with someone else’s femur, I couldn’t walk, couldn’t lift anything, and was worried for my family.  But the care I received from the healthcare staff and the patience they had with me was incredible.”
It was the start of a long, three-month stay at the hospital that included additional surgery and intensive rehabilitation with doctors, surgeons, nurses, and therapists.
Today, Jared is able to walk, lift light items, and has worked with his employer to modify his work routine while he pursues a career re-training program.  Since then, Jared has returned to HSC bringing flowers and gifts to thank the staff who saved his life and mended him back to health.

"I’m just grateful for being alive,
and able to take care of my young son.”

"I’m just grateful for being alive, and able to take care of my young son.”
At the HSC, Dr. Goytan is one of only three orthopedic surgeons, across Canada, specialized in treating both pediatric and adult spinal issues including tumours, infections, and degeneration.  As part of the Winnipeg Spine Program team, Dr. Goytan is proud of the work that he and his colleagues do, and he notes…
"Between Toronto and Calgary, HSC is the only place where this type of spine surgery could be done. Our team is grateful to be able to offer this kind of advanced care in Manitoba.”
Please consider a donation to the HSC Foundation today, to support the care HSC provides every day for patients like Jared and their families.  You can also contact us directly at or 204-787-2022 to learn more about your giving opportunities.