Shannon Low, MRI supervisor at the Royal Jubilee Hospital, demonstrates how the critical imaging equipment works. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Man who fell 50 feet shares his tale to raise funds for Victoria hospitals

Mitch Lepore helped launch the Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s latest campaign

It was a normal day on Galiano Island when the ground below Mitch Lepore’s feet gave way. He was out hiking with a group of friends who were excited about being finished their first year of university.

Lepore fell 50 feet off a cliff, sustaining a traumatic brain injury on the way down. Luckily, there was doctor, a firefighter and a member of a search and rescue team staying in the same campground who were able to locate Lepore and stabilized him, before he was airlifted to Victoria General Hospital.

Waking up after two weeks in a coma and drifting in and out of consciousness, Lepore describes the pain, anger and frustration of not being able to remember and having things explained to him daily.

RELATED: Visions Gala attendees step up to raise $1M for Victoria hospitals

“It wasn’t even days or weeks — it was months of that,” he says, crediting the CT scans he received with hurtling his progress forward. “To be able to understand what parts of me were damaged, what I lost and what I needed to work to regain … that literally changed the way I recovered. It changed my life.”

Lepore was part of a media tour for the Victoria Hospitals Foundation on Thursday morning, showing off some the imaging equipment that his team of doctors used to help make critical, life-saving decisions for his care and celebrating the launch of the Foundation’s the largest annual campaign — The Big Picture.

“The feeling of knowing, rather than the unknown; the unknown was the reason for so much anger and frustration,” says Lepore. “If you don’t know how to do something, but you don’t know why and you remember yourself doing it — there’s a lot of anguish there.”

RELATED: Save-On-Food customers can help save lives with small, at till donations

Lepore has made massive strides in his recovery, graduating from university, playing hockey when he gets the chance and working in the digital marketing field. He’s found ways, such as writing and ranking his to-do list for the day either on his hand or a white board, to help overcome some of the cognitive problems that remain from his brain injury. He hopes his story encourages people to donate, adding that imaging equipment helped save his life and will help save countless others.

The Foundation aims to raise $4 million in order to purchase a new CT scanner, a 3 Tesla MRI and ultrasound equipment for Victoria General and Royal Jubilee hospitals. Donors from the community fund 40 per cent of all the equipment in local hospitals.

The Big Picture campaign is part of a larger goal to raise $11 million in new imaging equipment, thanks to the generosity of local donors, $7 million in funding has been secured. The campaign was officially unveiled at the Foundation’s signature gala, Visions, held on Nov. 16, where 300 guests and donors, 26 sponsors, 260 businesses and 60 volunteers came together to raise a record-breaking $1 million of the campaign’s $4 million goal.

Contributions can be made by donating online at victoriahf.ca/bigpicture, calling 250-519-1750 or mailing to Wilson Block, 1952 Bay St., Victoria BC, V8R 1J8.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

About 40 per cent of the equipment at Victoria’s hospitals is purchased through donations from the community. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Just Posted

BREAKING: Police called to workplace accident in Victoria

VicPD says traffic impacts expected in 800-block Government Street and adjacent roads

Oak Bay sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Glenn Wakefield’s rescue involved five airplanes and took more than 48 hours

VicPD seeking help in recovering stolen scooter of B.C. Special Olympics athlete

The scooter was stolen from outside Hillside Mall on Sept.21

UPDATED: Crews contain fire to attic of Central Saanich home

Firefighters are responding to a structure fire in Central Saanich

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Majority needed to pass COVID-19 budget, B.C. premier says

John Horgan pushes urgent care centres in first campaign stop

Nanaimo RCMP shut down illegal racing and stunt driving site

Police “swoop in” to seize vehicles and issue violation tickets

Public health officials urge Canadians to limit contacts again as COVID-19 cases rise

Canada has committed $1 billion to buy at least 154 million doses of vaccines from five different companies

Most Read