Your Impact - Barb Harris' Story
Barb & Family
 Barb Harris and family
Barb Harris had driven on Sherbrook past the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg many times and never given healthcare a second thought. She could count on one hand the number of times she’d been to a doctor in the past thirty-five years. With hardly more than a sniffle, or the occasional flu, Barb had little reason to worry.
 
Over time, Barb began to notice that she was squinting at her computer screen more and more at her job. She already knew that she had cataracts in both eyes, but her ophthalmologist found the tilt in an eyeball troubling and referred her to HSC.
 
A Serious Diagnosis
After some tests, Dr. Michael West found a brain tumour the size of an egg. The tumour had likely been growing for over a decade, and had gone unnoticed until it began pressing on Barb’s optic nerve affecting her vision.
 
Barb didn’t know what to expect but recalls that, "Dr. West spoke with me and my family a number of times, explained all the risks, answered all our questions, and even showed us videos to demonstrate the brain surgery procedure.”
 
Barb goes on further to say… 
 
"Dr. West was patient with me and he listened. I knew going into surgery that the procedure was not 100% risk-free but he put our fears to rest. I trusted him.
 
In the Operating Room
Two months after her initial diagnosis, Dr. West performed brain surgery on Barb who has since successfully recovered and returned to work. Barb wasn’t sure if she would live to see her children finish their post-secondary education, but today is most grateful for the opportunity to celebrate with her twin daughters at their graduations.
 
Barb credits her second chance in life to HSC’s surgical expertise, research, technology and the donors who financially support the work of the hospital in Manitoba.
 
HSC at the Leading Edge
Patients, both from within and outside Winnipeg, benefit daily from the HSC’s three-room Centre for Surgical Innovation (CSI), one of only seven intraoperative MRI sites with this configuration in the world. The specialized MRI equipment in the Centre allows surgeons to identify residual tumour during an operation, which results in fewer second surgeries and speedier recovery times.
 
Dr. Michael WestDr. West is one of a number of surgeons who are grateful for the CSI which they believe has literally saved lives and prevented numerous additional surgeries for many Manitobans. As Dr. West says… 
 
"In my experience as a neurosurgeon at HSC, we are absolutely fortunate to have these breakthroughs in technology right here in Manitoba… It is a privilege to be able to locally offer the best care to patients who trust their lives to you.”
 
 

After Surgery
Barb, a few months after her surgery, went for Gamma Knife treatment, a specialized procedure at HSC that reduces the risk of tumour regrowth. The procedure is available at only three centres in Canada.  Barb remembers how…
 
"The tumour simply hit me out of the blue.  Until then, I’d always given elsewhere, but then realized that high-quality local medical care at HSC was important for my family and our community. You don’t know what you’ll need until you need it!
 
The surgical teams at HSC saved Barb’s vision and life. Your support can help us advance surgical care at the hospital even further. We're less than $1 million away from the goal of raising $25 million for the intra-operational MRI suite.
 
Please visit our donation page to support world-class healthcare right here at home in Manitoba, and bring hope to life for patients like Barb who need care at the Centre for Surgical Innovation.