For nearly five years, 27-year-old Logan La Roue dealt with confusing hip and leg pain.
“I always thought it was just an old injury acting up, some joint pain or something like that,” says Logan. “And whenever I sought help, I was told that whatever was going on was likely not that serious.”
This pain went on for years—on and off again, continuing a cycle of constant confusion and worry. Then something terrifying happened. Logan went to Costa Rica for a friend’s destination wedding. In the middle of what was supposed to be a time of celebration and joy, Logan fully lost control of her legs.
After returning home, Logan received an MRI. She got her answer—and it shook her to her core.
A large spinal tumour, known as a schwannoma, was essentially choking Logan’s spinal nerves. If left untreated, it could potentially cause permanent paralysis of her legs.
“My world stopped,” says Logan. “It was really, really scary. I immediately sat down. I phoned my family, and we made a plan to have someone take me down to VGH from my home in White Rock.”
At VGH, the medical experts led by Dr. Tamir Ailon, neurosurgeon, immediately started to care for Logan and create a surgical treatment plan.
Receiving care at the new Phil & Jennie Gaglardi Surgical Centre
Logan arrived around 5 a.m. at VGH for a procedure. She was ushered upstairs to the waiting room, which she recalls was both welcoming and calming.
“I was offered a completely private space to sit and prepare for my surgery, which I really appreciated,” says Logan. “The equipment all looked state-of-the-art, right down to digital boards showing information about my procedure. It felt very high-tech and reassuring.”
State-of-the-art surgical suites
On May 5, 2021, the donor-funded Phil & Jennie Gaglardi Surgical Centre at VGH officially opened for use. It features 16 new state-of-the-art ORs, a 40-bed perioperative suite, new communication systems to manage activities for health professionals across two operating floors, and upgraded infrastructure to support staff and patient comfort and safety.
And so, on March 20, 2022, Dr. Ailon and his team performed spinal surgery to remove Logan’s schwannoma.
“The surgery went textbook thanks to the availability of state-of-the-art technology and equipment in our new ORs,” says Dr. Ailon. “Our team here was able to safely resect the entire tumour without complication; Logan did wonderfully with the procedure and is now on the path to recovery.”
VGH specializes in complex cancer surgeries
Thanks to donor support, VGH has highly specialized equipment in the hands of the best minds in medicine. The results? Cutting-edge treatments—and hope—for the most complex cancer surgeries.
Today, Logan is profoundly grateful. She no longer lives in confusion and fear, wondering what could be happening to her, and is feeling stronger every day.
“I’m recovering now and looking forward to better days ahead,” says Logan. “I really am thankful for the care I received at VGH. It could have been such a different situation.”