Clara Fjeldsted recalls clearly the moment when an option became no choice. “Dr. Williams said, ‘We have a top-notch team. This operation has a 98% chance of success. And, if you don’t have the surgery, you will be dead in two days.’ So there was no decision to make,” says Clara. “And I never doubted for a moment that I would wake up from the surgery. His confidence was all I needed.”
It wasn’t until after emergency surgery to remove the benign tumour from her brain that Clara began to realize how serious her situation had been. She and her husband John credit Dr. Owen Williams, a neurosurgeon at HSC, with saving Clara’s life.
“The whole experience was humbling and overwhelming,” says Clara. And it didn’t stop with the surgeon. “The people in the OR, in the step-down unit… I was very well taken care of,” she says.
Almost immediately, John and Clara felt that they needed to respond in some way, to recognize the care that had been extended to their family. “We made a donation to HSC Foundation, but wanted to do something more,” says Clara. “When you go through this kind of experience, you understand that if a facility like this didn’t exist, if the team of experts wasn’t in place when you needed them… What would you do?”
John and Clara chose to make a planned gift to HSC Foundation. “I have always lived my life to the fullest, but there is not a day that goes by when I don’t think that this is a day I might not have had,” says Clara. “I feel very blessed.”