Great care helps Geoff Greaves keep going …. and celebrate some major milestones

I’ve got to keep going. When Geoff Graves ended up in Guelph General’s emergency department with internal bleeding in June 2016, he found himself repeating that mantra often. Blood tests revealed his hemoglobin was down in the 50s. Normal levels for men are 140 to 180.

It was a scary time for the retired Air Canada employee, who had moved to Guelph just a few years earlier. But Geoff had an important date with his wife, Beryl, that he was determined to keep: their 65th wedding anniversary. Fortunately, his health team was equally determined.

The doctors were incredible, says Geoff. Not only were they highly skilled, they really cared. The attending physician, Dr. Slatkovsky, went above and beyond to provide treatment, track down his medical records from Brampton and find local doctors for him.

“I was so impressed with her untiring efforts to go to the ends of the Earth to solve my problems,” he says. “The Guelph community is very lucky to have such a fantastic physician.”

It took five blood transfusions and 14 days in hospital before Geoff was strong enough to be discharged. But with the help of his team at Guelph General, he made it home in time to celebrate with Beryl.

Geoff’s story didn’t end there. His specialists still needed to pinpoint the source of his bleeding, so they ran test after test. Every result came back negative.

But they wouldn’t give up — and neither would Geoff. There were other milestones he planned to hit. “My mother lived to be 96 and my grandmother lived to be 99,” he explains. “So I’ve got to try and beat them.”

Then Geoff’s gastroenterologist Dr. Kottachchi suggested he might have a disease called GAVE: gastric antral vascular ectasia. The rare condition causes blood vessels in the stomach to swell up and bleed. A scope last December confirmed his suspicions.

It’s not an easy thing to treat, but Geoff is pleased with the progress they’ve made. “Now we’ve got something that we can really attack,” he explains. “Dr. Kottachchi has done some terrific procedures on me. I have every faith in him.”

Thanks to Dr. Kottachchi and the rest of the team at Guelph General, Geoff was able to celebrate his 90th birthday last year. Now he’s looking forward to seeing two of his grandchildren get married this summer.

“I would highly recommend Guelph General,” Geoff says — and he should know. This is a man who has spent time in hospitals in the U.K., Germany, the United States and here in Canada. He believes Guelph General has the caring atmosphere of a small, community hospital with the equipment and expertise you’d expect in a major institution.

Beryl agrees. “It’s really been marvelous,” she says.

That’s why the pair contributes to The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital. They want to ensure other people in their community get the same first-class care that Geoff has enjoyed — and the same opportunities to celebrate more amazing milestones in life.