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Spinal Surgery close to home

Suffering through years of chronic back pain took a toll on Richard Blais. A herniated disc left him unable to work or play with his young grandson – things many would take for granted.

“When the pain was really bad, I had to take a lot of time off work and go on heavy medications, which strained my family both emotionally and financially,” says Richard. “I was no longer able to keep up with my grandson who’s very active and loves when I play trucks with him on the floor. It was hard seeing how disappointed he would be when I said Papa couldn’t play.”

The pain and medication eventually became too much for Richard. He got in touch with spinal surgeon Dr. Andrei-Razvan Manolescu at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre to discuss his options. As the first patient of a new spinal surgery program, Richard is now back to work and living pain free.

Crediting his surgery for changing his life, Richard is grateful for the opportunity to have care close to home.

“They gave me back my freedom, my life and my ability to spend quality time with my grandson Bentley,” says Richard. “The only word to describe it is amazing.”

Through donor support, the Northern Lights Health Foundation contributed over $300,000 for spinal surgery equipment. As a result, Wood Buffalo is now one of four communities that provide this vital service to Albertans. In addition to helping people in our community, the spinal surgery team has also served patients from Red Deer, Vegreville, Lamont and Fort Saskatchewan. 


With your support, the Northern Lights Health Foundation funds vital health care needs in Wood Buffalo. Support community health care close to home.

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