Carlota Lee's Story  -  May 4, 2020

Carlota’s Story

No one plans for a medical emergency mid-air. It’s a terrifying idea. But flying home from a wonderful family vacation last year with my daughter, the unexpected happened to me.

I’ll never forget the pain that flared up in my abdomen – and how unbearable it soon became. I was confused and unsure of what was happening … and my daughter was frightened.

As I sat there in pain, unaware of how severe my situation had become, I was incredibly lucky that two paramedics on the flight recognized my symptoms.

They went to work right away, taking care of me and communicating with medical support about my condition, making the decision to land at YVR airport, as scheduled, three hours away.

You know how they say ignorance is bliss? That was my saving grace on the flight back home. For me, it was more surreal than anything. I couldn’t quite grasp what was happening … and I was in no condition to be making any decisions on my own.

You can believe me when I say how grateful my daughter and I were that upon landing, a stretcher and ambulance were waiting to hurry me away to Richmond Hospital, the hospital that deals with emergencies from YVR.

The care I received at Richmond Hospital was truly lifesaving – and excellent in every way – right from pain management to the surgery and recovery.

That’s why I’m writing to share my story with you today. I sincerely hope it will inspire you to show your support for remarkable care in 2020 by making a gift to the Richmond Hospital Foundation.

What happened to me was a tremendous reminder of just how crucial it is to support your hospital. As a local resident, I wanted to give back to the hospital that provided me with extraordinary care … and handles emergencies coming out of YVR airport, like mine.

It’s comforting to know that should anything happen to you at home, the airport, or in the air, the outstanding team members at Richmond Hospital will be the ones waiting to care for you.

Many don’t realize that when someone has a health problem at YVR, they’re sent to Richmond Hospital. Richmond Hospital serves its local community of more than 220,000 residents, those travelling through YVR and those visiting family and friends in Richmond … and is prepared to evaluate, diagnose and care for everyone.

Unfortunately, my ordeal lasted many hours and my appendix burst. That meant more complications with possible infection, and a longer recovery time.

When I learned this later, it was distressing to know it was the worst infection the doctor had seen in five years! But the excellent care I received gave me the reassurance that things would be okay. In total, I spent six days at the hospital, seeing firsthand how dedicated and compassionate the nurses and doctors are.

I was in very good hands with my surgeon, Dr. Nguyen. He performed non-invasive surgery through my navel. That surprised and impressed me because I was expecting to be left with a large scar. So you can see why I’m pleased to say that their expertise is second to none.

All in all, what was a scary and life-threatening situation turned into an opportunity to experience top-notch care.

My whole family is thankful I pulled through and I am well again, and that Richmond Hospital took such good care of me at such a dire time. That wouldn’t have been possible without people like you supporting Richmond Hospital Foundation. Thank you!


Carlota Lee

P.S. There were two things I wanted to do to show my gratitude after my appendicitis ordeal. First, I sought out the paramedics who took care of me on the flight. I got the opportunity to meet them and thank them in person, which meant a lot to me. Secondly, I made a gift to the Richmond Hospital Foundation. Excellent health care in times of medical crisis is so important to us all, so I hope you’ll join me in supporting the hospital in 2020.

Learn more about ways to leave a legacy gift