Patient Story: Mario

Donor support is vital to ensure that specialized medical equipment, such as CTs and MRIs, continues to be available and current at HSN for essential patient care. Something Mario and his family relied on in an emergency situation.

Mario, who was seven at the time, hit his head after a fall and began to experience vomiting. His parents knew something wasn’t right with their son and brought him to the Emergency Department at HSN to have him assessed. What followed was a chain of fast-paced activities and tests, including a head CT, which showed that Mario had a skull fracture, along with a bleed and swelling – a critical situation that required immediate medical intervention. A child of this age, requiring emergency neurosurgery, would typically be flown to SickKids in Toronto for treatment, but time was not on Mario’s side for this option. He needed a craniotomy immediately to ensure he would be okay – frightening news for any parent to receive.

Dr. Mantle, the neurosurgeon on call at the time, was paged to conduct the procedure on Mario, in consultation with a team at SickKids. This was a first for Dr. Mantle, an experienced neurosurgeon at HSN who treats adult patients. In addition to the pool of nurses who were on call to assist at the time, there was an excess of off-duty nurses who volunteered to come in if needed to help save the life of this small child. Mario’s care team involved doctors, nurses, and staff across many HSN departments including emergency, operating room, intensive care unit, and pediatrics.

Grateful to the extraordinary team of health professionals at HSN – particularly Dr. Mantle and his wife, an HSN physician, who assisted in the procedure – Mario’s family feels very fortunate to live in a community with great access to specialized care and the latest in medical equipment. Today, Mario is a healthy and active young boy like others his own age.

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