Pamela's Story - A New Life Worth Waiting For Thanks to a Caring NYGH Physician

Pamela Boisvert isn’t one to exaggerate, so when she says her recent experience at North York General Hospital “completely changed her life,” she means every word.

About eight years ago, Pamela began to experience extremely heavy and painful periods which severely impacted her daily life. She often travelled with a change of clothes and couldn’t enjoy a romantic getaway with her husband or do anything spontaneous. She lived in constant pain, and felt exhausted and  trapped by her condition.

At NYGH, Pamela found the answers she sought.

In December of 2019, Pamela had enough of living with limits. She went to her family doctor, who referred her to Dr. Abheha Satkunaratnam, Chief of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at North York General Hospital (NYGH). After a series of tests, his suspicions were confirmed. Pamela was diagnosed with Adenomyosis — a condition where the endometrial tissue that lines the uterus grows into the muscular wall of the uterus, causing agonizing periods. Hearing the diagnosis, Pamela felt validated and relieved. She knew what the problem was and that a solution was close at hand.

Before seeing Dr. Satkunaratnam, Pamela wanted a complete hysterectomy. After hearing the pros and cons — including complications of scar tissue from an appendectomy, she agreed to a laparoscopic hysterectomy.  In February of 2020, she received a uterine biopsy, an ultrasound and bloodwork. Then, just as plans were being finalized for surgery, the COVID-19 pandemic turned everything upside-down. All non-essential surgeries were paused indefinitely and the waiting began.

A two-year pandemic delay was finally over.

Pamela knew eventually there would be a light at the end of the tunnel. The surgery was initially booked for December of 2021 then moved to mid January of 2022. Then the Omicron variant surfaced and once again her procedure was cancelled.  The following week Pamela was told the good news — her surgery was set for Jan. 26, 2022. All at once, a wave of excitement and nervousness swept over her. Finally, she would get the relief she needed.

Unable to have her husband by her side due to  COVID-19 restrictions, Pamela remembers receiving the VIP treatment, with both the nurses, Dr. Satkunaratnam, and other staff doing all they could to comfort and reassure her. When she was finally on the operating table, overcome with emotion that the day was finally here, Pamela broke into tears. Four hours later, she woke up in recovery to Dr. Satkunaratnam’s calming voice telling her the surgery had been a success.

A new life for Pamela.

Now, six months after her surgery, Pamela can barely put her gratitude into words. Her life has completely changed for the better as she lives everyday fully. She is no longer in pain and does not require frequent iron infusions.  She has the freedom to live her life on her terms. Her husband often tells her how she looks like a weight has been taken off her shoulders.

When it comes to the care she received from Dr. Satkunaratnam, Pamela is full of praise. His patience and willingness to listen to her concerns, as well as his kindness and expertise gave her the confidence to go ahead with the life-changing surgery. She regularly tells anyone who asks about her experience that NYGH is a hospital where the care and concern for patients is genuine.

Pamela lives in Bradford with her husband Mario and is a mother of three children aged 28, 21 and 19. In her spare time, she volunteers for a wildlife centre and often fosters animals native to Ontario.