By Ruth Davenport - Metro Halifax
HALIFAX - The announcement of over a million dollars for upgrades to the MRI unit at the IWK had the hospitalâs chief of radiology beaming like a kid on Christmas morning.
© Metro Halifax/Jeff Harper
Premier Darrell Dexter talks with Cody Campbell, aged four, at the IWK Health Centre prior to a funding announcement on Wednesday.
âI canât wipe the smile off my face today,â said Dr. Deborah Thompson at an event Wednesday. âThis upgrade will mean a huge amount to us.â
Premier Darrell Dexter and MLA Leonard Preyra were on hand to announce $1.1 million for hardware and software improvements for the IWKâs 11-year-old machine.
âWhat this does is, it essentially creates a brand new machine,â said Dexter, adding that it was IWK staff who recommended the upgrades over buying a new unit. âWith health care costs being what they are, we looked really hard at trying to make sure that weâre getting the best possible service at the best possible price.â
Thompson said the upgrades will allow doctors to perform more specialized imaging sequences faster than is currently possible.
âThe MRI unit will go faster and make us more efficient,â she said. âSo the least amount of time that a young child has to be in a claustrophobic-like environment thatâs noisy is better.â
Lower Sackville parents Holly Redden and Joey Campbell told the small crowd an MRI revealed an aggressive form of brain cancer in their son, Cody, last September.
âCody wouldnât be with us today if it wasnât for an MRI,â said Redden, as the four-year-old â now cancer free â looked on from his fatherâs arms. âWeâre not sugar coating it, he wouldnât be with us.â
The MRI unit performs 600 exams per month, and Thompson said the improvements will increase its capacity.
The total cost of the upgrades is just under $1.5 million. The IWK Foundation will also contribute about $370,000.