When Dr. Lee Busse moved with his young family to Burnaby over 50 years ago, he never imagined the impact Burnaby Hospital would have on him and his family.
“My first experience with Burnaby Hospital was when my wife had a horrific accident and broke her kneecap in 12 different places,” says Lee. “That was years ago, and luckily, she was operated on by Dr. Ralph Belle, who put her back together.”
Little did Lee know that it would only be a few years before he would need similar help. “I was limping badly and couldn’t walk very far,” he recalls. “I find that people take walking for granted. With the hip and the knees, when there’s pain involved, it affects your quality of life. I was in severe pain and discomfort”
After surgeries on both knees and a hip replacement under the steady hand of Dr. Ralph Belle at Burnaby Hospital, Lee is happy to have made Burnaby his home and Burnaby Hospital his hospital. He describes his surgical experiences one of full engagement and patient-centred, practices that made him feel more comfortable from beginning to end. “Maybe because Burnaby Hospital is smaller, they have superb staff that make it homey. They even bring you in before the surgery and introduce you to the various departments who’ll be involved in the procedure, treatment, and rehabilitation.”
Yet his road to recovery wasn’t without hard work and perseverance. Lee had to take physiotherapy for almost four months after his hip replacement. He is thankful, however, to have had what most consider a quick recovery time. “Those were big surgeries and the pain levels were reduced dramatically by what they did for you.”
When asked how these experiences have impacted his life, Lee says, “I can walk. Without pain now, I’m walking normally and enjoying life.” These days, Lee makes up for missed time on the golf course. He believes in giving back and has helped Burnaby Hospital by ensuring future generations can benefit from the latest and greatest in health equipment. Lee and his family were major donors to the campaign to secure a new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) unit for Burnaby Hospital.
At the time, he didn’t know that he would have a chance to see his gift in action. “Our grandson who was 15 years old at the time was referred for an MRI,” says Lee. “We were able to take him to Burnaby Hospital. I was impressed with the technician and how well it was set up compared to our own MRI experiences at other hospitals. Normally, kids are apprehensive, but he wasn’t the least bit. He was well-received and well-taken care of—and all of this was done close to home.”
“You don’t know when you’re going to need medical care for yourself,” Lee says. “But just because you haven’t, doesn’t mean there isn’t a need there. It’s gratifying to support such a worthy cause. It makes you feel good that your money is going into something that helps other people.”