“Simply put, Dr. Meterissian saved my life. I can think of no better way to say thank you, than by making him my Hospital Hero.”

Samia Sayegh has been a supporter of the Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) for a long time. She’s made it a priority to give back to the hospital that has been caring for her since 2003, when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. She went through chemotherapy and surgery, and then went into remission. As soon as Samia had recovered she knew she needed to honour the man who had saved her life.

“Dr. Meterissian was always smiling and exuding positive energy. He kept my spirits high, especially when I was going through chemo,” she notes fondly. He was also incredibly dedicated, and Samia was so impressed by Dr. Meterissian’s devotion.  “He insisted on working through Armenian Christmas, and that happened to be the day of my surgery,” she recalls.  “When I asked him why, his answer was so simple – ‘because patients come first’ ”.

Samia went to regular check-ups at the RVH during her remission and she was well on her way to recovery. But in 2012, Dr. Meterissian, seemingly on a hunch, insisted that Samia undergo an MRI. Sure enough, his suspicion was confirmed, and the cancer had returned. Samia was stunned- not only had her illness come back but had it not been for Dr. Meterissian’s diligence, it may not have been detected in time. Once again, she owed her life to this incredible physician.

This time around they knew chemotherapy wouldn’t be effective. Instead, Samia underwent radiation therapy and another surgery. Today, she is happy and healthy, and remains grateful not only to her personal hero, Dr. Meterissian, but all of her healthcare providers at the MUHC.

Over the years Samia has made several donations in honour of various staff members, including doctors, nurses, and administrative staff. She knows that it takes a large and dedicated team to keep things running smoothly in a hospital. Giving back in the form of regular donations is Samia’s way of thanking and honouring the people who’ve restored her health.

She’s also enormously grateful that she is now cared for at the Glen site of the MUHC. “I’ve always received exceptional treatment at the RVH, but the Glen site is truly amazing,” Samia says.  “Not only does it have state-of-the-art equipment, it is a very warm and welcoming space”.

Samia visits Dr. Meterissian every year for her follow-ups and she’s always happy to see him. They greet each other with big hugs and warm smiles. Dr. Meterissian is not only the physician Samia credits with saving her life, twice, he is also her Hospital Hero.

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