Health

Cree doctor on Keeping Canada Alive fears loss of traditions

A man in B.C. has his stomach surgically shrunk from the size of a football to that of a banana as a Cree doctor in northern Quebec fights the Type 2 diabetes epidemic in her community on Keeping Canada Alive Part 6.

Finalé of series narrated by Kiefer Sutherland airs Sunday

Nigel's surgeon said only 2 to 5 per cent of people who follow a strict diet and exercise regimen will have long-term weight loss compared with 75 to 80 per cent success among motivated patients who undergo bariatric surgery. (CBC)

A man in B.C. has his stomach surgically shrunk from the size of a football to that of a banana as a Cree doctor in northern Quebec fights the Type 2 diabetes epidemic in her community during the finalé of Keeping Canada Alive, a day in the life of our healthcare system.

Emmy-award winning Canadian actor Kiefer Sutherland narrates the six-part series. It features intimate stories of patients whose lives are changed by the care they receive and the medical professionals who improve their well-being.

The series was shot over a single 24-hour period by 60 camera crews at hospitals, clinics and homes on May 6.

The finalé airs Sunday at 9 p.m. in all time zones (9:30 p.m. NT) on CBC-TV.

Stories in Part 6 include:

  • A former high school athlete in Richmond, B.C. who now weighs nearly 400 pounds hopes to change his life through stomach-shrinking bariatric surgery. Told it could change his tastes, he says, "I really hope I still like chicken. I can give up other things."
  • In Quebec's far north community of Chisasibi, a family doctor and former nurse says her community is slowly making changes to turn around their high rates of Type 2 diabetes. "One of my fears for this community is the loss of traditions and I think that's one important facet of our well-being. Despite all the many problems families have, individuals have, this is the one source of healing that could pull them through."
  • A single mother in Hamilton, Ont., whose premature baby was born 2.5 months early, waits anxiously as her son has surgery for a brain bleed and difficulty in his abdomen. As she holds him next to her skin before surgery and his heart rate calms, the mother says it's the best part of her day.
  • A 33-year-old woman with a profound form of cerebral palsy adapts to moving into a community home in Wolfville, N.S., when her parents are no longer physically able to care for her.  She's one of 800 adults with intellectual disabilities living in 29 government-supported communities across the country. "Hopefully I can make Krystal's day special sometimes. Krystal always makes the day nice for me," says Joseph, one of her caregivers.
  • In Vancouver, man's best friend gets rewarded with a squeeze of a purple hippo for participating in a clinical trial to sniff out the life-threatening superbug C.difficile. At the same hospital, a woman checks in to the emergency department fearing her heart palpitations and abdominal pressure could be heart related.

For more, the extensive website for the series includes many more stories from a customizable, 24-hour stream of raw footage.

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