“As long as Women’s College Hospital is here, I’m here.”
Four months ago, Ken Yip-Hoi was living in Trinidad and literally wasting away at 120 pounds. Diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2001, his blood sugar levels started spiralling out of control in 2011 and no amount of medication, diet or exercise could turn the tide.
That is, until Ken’s family doctor in Canada referred him to the Centre for Integrated Diabetes Care at Women’s College Hospital.
Tests quickly revealed Ken had adult late-onset diabetes. “They put me on insulin and I started to measure my blood sugar levels on a regular basis,” says the 48-year-old, who relocated to his Toronto home this summer.
“It’s amazing what’s happened. I’m back to almost 160 pounds, I’m eating right and I exercise more. I see these great effects now compared to when I wasn’t responding to anything.”
Ken attributes his fast-track improvement to WCH’s exceptional care team. The Centre for Integrated Diabetes Care was introduced in 2012 to provide a team approach to diabetes research, teaching and treatment. Led by acclaimed endocrinologist and Women’s College Research Institute scientist Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe, the centre supports patients with one-stop care from an interdisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, dieticians, social workers and other specialists.
“I have only good things to say,” Ken says of his entire centre team. He reserves special praise for nurse practicioner Nicola Farnell, whose care and compassion have had a significant impact on his recovery. Nicola is Ken’s point-person at every appointment and she even emails him several times a week for health updates.
“When you’re sick and you’re not seeing results, you feel like there’s nowhere to turn, no one to talk to,” he says of his years of declining health in Trinidad. In sharing his story, Ken hopes to let others know they don’t have to face diabetes alone.
“As long as Women’s College Hospital is here, I’m here. My recovery has everything to do with the people who work here.”
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