Tarek’s story

Returning home one night after hosting his radio program, broadcaster Tarek Fatah could no longer feel his legs. His wife Nargis convinced him to take an ambulance to St. Michael’s Emergency.

I look back on this past year not as a tragedy, but as a celebration. It brought my family together and taught me so much about dignity and the human condition. I celebrated the best year of my life here surrounded by family, friends, and my new family – the staff of St.  Michael’s.– Tarek Fatah

Tests revealed that a cancerous tumour had collapsed on his spinal cord and was rapidly damaging his nervous system below the waist. Surgery was successful. However, because his doctors feared that the cancer had spread, he underwent chemotherapy and radiation. In time, the cancer went into remission.

Because the tumour had wrapped itself around the spinal cord, there was residual nerve damage. Tarek was told that he would never walk again, but St. Michael’s Loch Macdonald disagreed, telling Tarek he would be out of that wheelchair in six months – and he was right.

Without St. Michael’s, Tarek would never have been able to celebrate his 62nd birthday surrounded by family and friends or lecture at the Idea City conference or accept his 2011 Helen and Stan Vine Book Award. Tarek would not have been able to continue writing his weekly newspaper column, nor continue to host his radio show.

"I look back on this past year not as a tragedy, but as a celebration,” he recalls. “It brought my family together and taught me so much about dignity and the human condition. I celebrated the best year of my life here surrounded by family, friends, and my new family – the staff of St. Michael’s."