Retired mechanical engineer Didar Sangha had always been in good health, despite requiring medication for high blood pressure and cholesterol. By walking more and improving his diet he was able to lower his dosage and, eventually, stopped taking the blood pressure medication altogether. At 76 he felt great for his age, spending a lot of time chasing his five grandchildren, playing games like chess and cards and walking around his Brampton neighbourhood.
In summer 2019, Didar went to India to visit family and friends. He felt fine throughout the trip except for an incident at his friend’s house when he began to feel faint. Assuming it was because of the hot weather, he brushed it off, until it happened twice more. His family urged him to visit a doctor and off he went with no symptoms other than those three, seemingly random, dizzy spells.
The doctor in India ran tests and determined some pretty high-risk blockages in his arteries. At the insistence of his son, Didar returned home to Brampton on July 11 and made an appointment with his family doctor and cardiologist. Didar didn’t know it but each passing day was inching him closer to potential tragedy.
After his appointment, he was immediately referred to the Trillium Health Partners (THP) Emergency Department. Armed with paperwork from his doctor’s visit in India and an urgent referral from his doctors back home in Canada, the clinical staff at THP ran tests to confirm the severity of the situation. The results were glaring and Didar was admitted that same day. His three coronary arteries were 80 per cent, 95 per cent and 99 per cent blocked. He had been moments away from a heart attack that could have claimed his life if it weren’t for the swift action of THP staff.
The highly skilled cardiac surgeon and former medical director at the renowned Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Steve Singh, performed the beating heart triple bypass surgery on July 25 and Didar spent a week in the hospital recovering.
Of the experience pre and post-surgery he says, “I wasn’t scared for the operation. I had faith in Trillium Health Partners. I knew I would be okay because of their professionalism, expertise and kindness. The atmosphere was very homey, the care was excellent. I found the staff very dedicated and committed in their profession.”
Didar feels indebted to the THP hospital staff as well as his loved ones, who all contributed to saving his life – a life he hadn’t realized he was on the brink of losing.
Didar is 78 now and feels healthy and strong. A religious man, he feels like his situation is a miracle in the truest sense of the word and he credits THP with saving his life. Two years after this harrowing experience which started on a different continent, Didar chooses to live simply and not take small joys for granted, like spending time with his grandchildren or going for walks outdoors. The experience has even inspired his charitable side.
“I appeal to all who can afford to donate liberally to Trillium Hospital. The hospital needs financial help to maintain the level of service they provide to patients and, in my view, this is the best charity.”
Trillium Health Partners relies on donor support to ensure we can continue providing access to high-quality, timely care when our community needs it most.
Inspired by Didar’s story? Donate today and your gift will be matched 2X to help THP provide life-saving care to patients like Didar!