Manitoulin Island man undergoes cancer surgery during pandemic and says he felt safe

A man from Manitoulin Island says people shouldn’t be afraid if they have to go in for surgery at the Sudbury hospital.

Michael Geroux had to go in a few weeks ago to have a cancerous tumour removed, and said he was absolutely terrified about having to be in hospital for radical head and neck surgery during a pandemic.

“I thought I was about to make either the greatest decision of my life or the most terrible decision of my life,” he said.

Geroux is diabetic and has a compromised immune system.

He said his surgery was scheduled the same day that new protocols were implemented because of COVID-19.

It was like being in a sci-fi movie, Geroux said. The room was completely taped off and the health care team made sure nothing got in or out of the room. The precautions they took made him feel quite calm.

‘Incredible’ doctors and nurses

After surgery, the care he received in ICU and recovery was so amazing, he said he gets emotional thinking about it.

“I was absolutely terrified. I don’t think I’ve ever been terrified in my life until that moment when I entered the hospital,” Geroux said.

“And then having that totally flipped on its head. Incredible doctors that spoke with such knowledge that left no doubt … and two RNs —  Gillian in ICU and Megan up on the seventh floor. I have never imagined people more suitable to their jobs, and so knowledgeable.”

Just before he was discharged, Geroux said he wrote a thank you message on the little white board in his hospital room, hoping they would see it.

“I wanted to thank them for making me feel safe, and keeping me safe … the message said, ‘Nine days ago nine remarkable people came together to do something extraordinary for a total stranger. “

During the pandemic, only non-urgent and elective procedures have been cancelled at Sudbury’s hospital, which is why Geroux’s life-saving operation went ahead.

Urgent procedures are continuing with precautionary measures in place.

Manitoulin Island’s Michael Geroux wrote this message on his hospital room whiteboard the day he was discharged from hospital. He says the care he received before, during and after cancer surgery was ‘extraordinary.’ (Michael Geroux)


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