Michelle Fortier - A Life Changed

Michelle Fortier never imagined finding a medical superhero at North York General Hospital (NYGH), but that’s exactly what happened.

In tremendous pain since the age of 13, Michelle has gone through numerous medical challenges and procedures along the way. At 28, she was diagnosed with Endometriosis while undergoing testing for in-vitro. She endured previous surgeries; one for cervical cancer, one for endometriosis and yet another for her gallbladder. She experienced an accidental perforation of the bowel, two bouts of sepsis, blood clots in her lungs and two emergency laparotomies to repair the bowel. She survived these life-threatening conditions and eventually had a colostomy.

Dr. Usmaan Hameed, Surgical Oncologist GI

Referred to NYGH’s Dr. Usmaan Hameed to see if a colostomy reversal was possible, Michelle was understandably skeptical. After all, she’d been through so much already and had learned to live with the pain and discomfort of her condition. She didn’t have a lot of confidence that anything could be done to improve her medical issues. That was about to change.

At her appointment, Michelle remembers a waiting room full of patients. Instead of rushing her through, Dr. Hameed took his time to listen to her and explain what he planned to do. With quiet confidence, Dr. Hameed examined her and determined that because she had not fully healed from the previous procedure, he would opt for an ileostomy instead. Michelle was terrified, but Dr. Hameed assured her he would resolve the issue and vastly improve her life.

True to his words, Dr. Hameed did indeed transform Michelle’s life. Once she healed from the first procedure, she had a successful colostomy reversal. Today, she is back to teaching, playing hockey and cycling. Her life with her husband Darren is full of fun and promise once again and she is beyond thankful.

Whenever Michelle has questions, Dr. Hameed always makes himself available to her. She says she feels so lucky and blessed to have come to NYGH and to have Dr. Hameed caring for her with such kindness and professionalism.