For many years Surrey resident, Pamela Young, had been suffering from back pain. She had tried a plethora of physical therapies, but was consistently told the reason behind her chronic pain was due to the normal progression of arthritis. 

Pamela experienced shooting, debilitating pain down her legs, as well as numbness and tingling. All of this was made worse by standing and walking, so mobility became a big issue. Pamela recalls that, at her worst state, she had to crawl to get to where she needed to go.

A grandmother of seven, including two teenagers she is raising, Pamela was heartbroken that her disease prevented her from enjoying activities with the kids. It was difficult for her to work, and becoming impossible for her to participate in everyday life activities. “I felt like my life was slipping away. I felt helpless,” she recalls.

Dr. Melissa Nadeau

An introduction to Dr. Melissa Nadeau would be life-changing for Pamela. Dr. Nadeau is one of Surrey’s highly skilled orthopaedic surgeons who specializes in spinal surgery. 

Dr. Nadeau quickly found that Pamela was suffering from Degenerative Disc Disease, a painful condition caused by worn-down vertebral discs. Soon after, Pamela underwent surgery that decompressed her nerves, fused and realigned her spine. The surgery was a success, seeing Pamela recover within weeks. She is now back to her daily activities, is physically active, and once again enjoying life with her family. 

Dr. Nadeau was attracted to work at Surrey Memorial Hospital as it is a regional hospital with a diverse patient population, who require a variety of needs. She was interested in showcasing her talents here because the hospital has excellent services and top talent working together to provide excellent patient care. 

Pamela, post surgery.

Surrey Hospitals Foundation is supporting a complete renovation of all ten of operating rooms at Surrey Memorial Hospital, Fraser Health’s busiest surgical centre. This renovation will see investment in several pieces of innovative equipment, which helps to recruit and retain top surgical talent like Dr. Nadeau.

In February 2020, guests of the 5th Annual Celebration of Care Gala raised $1.3 million toward the purchase of a Spinal Navigation System for Dr. Nadeau and the team of orthopaedic surgeons. This state-of-the-art equipment will allow surgeons to see a very detailed ‘roadmap’ of the spine during surgery. This means more patients like Pamela, as well as other with more complicated surgical challenges, can receive care right here in Surrey. Currently, patients requiring very intricate spinal surgeries may be sent into Vancouver to receive care. Dr. Nadeau will begin trialing the system in early 2021, with thanks to these generous donors.