Anna Drazenovic moved to the US in 1993 as a new nurse graduate as there was a surplus of nurses in Canada at that time. She went on to have a rewarding 30-year career as a nurse and nurse educator. However after all of those years of nursing, she began to experience unexplained back pain and leg numbness. Over the course of a year those symptoms worsened to the point of excruciating pain that forced her to walk with a cane. She underwent two separate back surgeries, cortisone injections and physiotherapy, all to no avail. Nothing seemed to help and her condition continued to worsen to the point that she was forced to give up the nursing instructor position that she loved, and to retire early. The silver lining however was that she could return to Canada.
Upon her return to Collingwood, she was referred to Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Olivia Cheng. “When I first met her I was despondent”, says Anna, “I could barely walk and the pain was unbearable. My retirement and future looked so bleak.” Distraught, Anna met with Dr. Cheng and through her tears, provided the details of her condition. “This lovely woman showed such compassion and kindness when she hugged me, a perfect stranger, and said ‘Don’t worry, I’m going to help you.”
“I am living life to the fullest, enjoying retirement, and I couldn’t be happier. To say that Dr. Cheng’s involvement in my care was life-changing truly is an understatement. I will forever be grateful to her. It is with profound gratitude that I would like to do my part to ensure the hospital has the resources to help others as much as they helped me.”
Dr. Cheng identified that it was Anna’s hips that were causing her symptoms and that she would need bilateral hip replacements. She performed both surgeries and she sailed through the procedures and the recoveries without incident or complications. “The care that I received from the CGMH nursing staff, support personnel and physiotherapy department was exceptional.”
As a result of Dr. Cheng’s ability to accurately diagnose Anna’s condition, and her skill as a surgeon, Anna is now pain-free. She walks normally and her mobility has been completely restored. As a result of this very positive experience Anna was inspired to bequeath a gift to the CGMH Foundation.
“Anna’s ability to smile despite her physical discomfort is a testament to her strength and resilience. I felt her pain and all I wanted to do was to help her. We were able to provide the best possible care within the constraints of our healthcare system. It has been a pleasure to be involved with her care.” – Dr. Olivia Cheng, Orthopedic Surgeon, Collingwood G&M Hospital.
If you have been impacted by outstanding care at the Collingwood G&M Hospital, we would love to hear from you. Grateful patient stories inspire our medical staff to continue to do what they do. They also inspire other people to donate to your hospital and impact many other patients.