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.

 

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

Just Posted

‘Norovirus-like’ outbreak interrupts Bantam hockey showcase in Greater Victoria

Several athletes were sent home, quarantined on the ferry

Expect rolling street closures, bus delays as truck convoy moves through region Saturday

The annual Truck Light Convoy will roll through the region starting at 5:45 p.m.

UPDATED: 64-year-old Victoria man David Atkins found

Atkins was found by Sooke RCMP on Saturday morning

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

B.C.-born hockey official talks to IIHF about switching European rule book to NHL rules

Rob Shick will represent NHL at 4th World Hockey Forum in Russia

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

Most Read