Keith’s Multifaceted Care Journey
Keith Hartley has lived in Innisfil for 25 years. He’s quick with a joke and wears a smile that’s contagious. Not all people who’ve been through what he has in the last year would be as resilient.
“I couldn’t even imagine where we’d be today without RVH,” reflected his wife, Kelley.
She feared the worst when her husband, Keith, was diagnosed with colon cancer in October of 2021. She had no way of knowing what was to come.
Sometimes patients need unexpected, multifaceted care in a hurry. And when the worst happens, RVH has highly-skilled, expert care teams ready to meet those needs. Keith Hartley experienced this first-hand after a post-op bout of acid reflux sent his world into a tailspin.
“We were all scared, but his oncologist acted fast to get the cancer surgically removed within a month of the discovery,” shared Kelley.
The initial surgery was a huge success and after a few days, Keith went home to recover.
Over the weekend, Keith experienced an attack of acid reflux and the force compromised an internal stitch. That set off a chain of events that would lead to Keith needing eight additional surgeries and a 16-day stay in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
While Keith was in the Intensive Care Unit, his care became very complex. His kidneys were struggling and he started dialysis to relieve some of the stress on his organs. At the same time, a complication of his blood pressure medications caused the tissue in his right leg to die.
“His doctors told us that amputating his leg would heal his kidneys,” said Kelley. “Losing his leg meant saving his life.”
Surgeons removed Keith’s leg below the knee and his kidney function returned. He remained in hospital recovering from surgery. Just when he thought he was on the mend, he suffered a stroke that affected the left side of his body. He had to now adjust to another set of challenges.
In June of 2022, Keith was finally able to go home with a prosthetic leg. He’s been working on mobility and function ever since.
“He’s adjusting well to his new leg,” said Kelley. “He really took to it quickly.”
Today, Keith is part of the Stroke Rehab Day Program at RVH, a program providing care to people across Simcoe Muskoka. Twice a week, he works with a physiotherapist and an occupational therapist on physical and cognitive tasks that build up his independence.
From his first diagnosis through to his recovery, Keith has had the life-saving care he needs. He’s now on the road to discovering a new life for himself. He just recently passed his driving test and can’t wait to get back to the freedom of the open road.
To keep patients like Keith living their wild lives, please make a donation today.