The greatest need: supporting surgical care in Langley

Active all his life, Langley’s Mark Spelliscy had lived with the effects of osteoarthritis for about a decade before painkillers, topical creams and patches no longer helped.

Just 71 at the time, Mark was referred to Langley Memorial Hospital orthopedic surgeon Dr. Mark Chiu, who offered the painful diagnosis: With no cartilage remaining, Mark’s knee joint was connecting bone-on-bone.

Over time, wear and tear from his active lifestyle left him with no cartilage to lighten the pressure on his knees when he walked, climbed stairs or did everyday chores.

With no family history and life-long passion for activities like hiking and tennis, Mark’s diagnosis was a bit of a surprise, but he was also the ideal candidate for a replacement of his knees, expected to last 15 to 25 years. “Well, 25 years should take me over the finish line,” he quipped to his surgeon.

Quality care, close to home

The opportunity for close-to-home care from skilled medical teams is life-changing for many Langley Memorial patients, but it’s only possible thanks to the community’s support for its local hospital.

While the idea of a knee replacement was daunting at first, “I was under the care of Dr. Chiu, who’s very respected, and I knew I was in good hands with the whole surgical team,” Mark says.

This spring, Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation is asking the community to help support the surgical team’s greatest needs – tools they need to perform safe, efficient procedures and help patients recover faster and return home sooner.

The need is significant.

In the 2022/23 year, Langley surgeons provided care to 12,000 day care surgery patients and performed more than 2,500 inpatient procedures in the surgical unit’s five operating rooms.

Dr. Mark Chiu, orthopedic surgeon at Langley Memorial Hospital. Photo courtesy Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation

Dr. Mark Chiu, orthopedic surgeon at Langley Memorial Hospital. Photo courtesy Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation

This year’s greatest needs include surgical scopes that provide surgeons with clear and precise views during arthroscopies – procedures for diagnosing and treating joint problems like Mark’s, using fiber-optic video cameras that provide precise, accurate procedures and speed up recovery time.

In addition to better support for both patients and medical teams, the Foundation aims to install ceiling lifts for transitioning patients to and from procedure tables, reducing the risk of injury among medical staff.

“This is about ensuring the well-being of our health care workers and, by extension, the quality of care provided to patients,” says Heather Scott, the Foundation’s Executive Director. “Helping our surgeons become more efficient in their work with state-of-the-art tools creates an immediate impact in patients’ lives.”

Your donation, doubled

For every $25,000 donated toward the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation’s most urgent needs fund, a generous donor will match it, doubling the power of your dollar.

Even a small gift can make a big difference.

“Even the most common, minor surgeries can be life changing. Mine was,” Mark reflects. “I am grateful for the care I received from the excellent surgical team at Langley Memorial Hospital. Four months after my surgeries, physiotherapy and rehab, I’m ready for all that life has to offer. Thanks to the surgical team at Langley Memorial, I’m in good health today, at the age of 73.”

To learn more, visit where you can donate securely today.

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