Sunnybrook Hospital

The Informer



A Life Interrupted: Hassan Rasouli’s journey from an earache to a high-stakes battle over end-of-life decisions

Two years ago, Hassan Rasouli checked into Sunnybrook hospital to have a brain tumour removed, fell into a coma, and provoked a Supreme Court battle over who decides to pull the plug. Then, one day, he awoke

A Life Interrupted

For the past two years, the Rasouli family has visited Hassan daily at the Sunnybrook ICU (Image: Christopher Wahl)

Early in the summer of 2010, Hassan Rasouli, a 59-year-old engineer, had a problem with his right ear. He noticed sounds were coming in muffled and indistinct, as if through a ball of cotton. By August, his hearing loss was getting worse. The ear was slightly numb, too, and at times Rasouli caught himself feeling dizzy. He didn’t think much of it. He had moved from Ishfahan, Iran, to Toronto just four months earlier with his wife, Parichehr Salasel, a family doctor, their 27-year-old daughter, Mojgan, and their 22-year-old son, Mehran. They’d come to Canada with the capacity for risk particular to the new immigrant, the kind that leads someone to abandon a life of familiar comforts for an uncertain world where the possibilities might open up a little wider. They were excited about creating a new life.

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Real Estate


House of the Week: $4.3 million for a stately designer home in Lawrence Park

ADDRESS: 115 Rochester Avenue

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Bridle Path–Sunnybrook–York Mills

AGENT: Jennifer Stanley and Gordon Nye, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Brokerage

PRICE: $4,295,000

THE PLACE: A custom-built house masterminded by architect Richard Wengle, best known for his contemporary Trinity Bellwoods townhomes. Interiors are by Connie Braemer.

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How a chronic insomniac found a radically simple cure for her sleepless nights

I Hate the Night

I was living in a co-op on the edge of Regent Park, next to a playground that was invaded by screeching junkies every night. Everything that year was miserable. My mother had been diagnosed with cancer and was receiving radiation and chemotherapy every day for a month. My dad and two brothers and I juggled our schedules to get her to Sunnybrook Hospital from north Scarborough. When I wasn’t scared I was despondent. Even as I tried to keep up my performance at work (I was an editor at Toronto Life at the time), I wasn’t sure if I wanted the job anymore. Then I got insomnia.

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Random Stuff

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Toronto surgeons using Xbox Kinect in operating room, and not making a mess

Normally, the idea of people using video game equipment—or, more to the point, Microsoft equipment—in an operating room would scare us (“blue screen of death” sounds more ominous when shouted during surgery). But this actually sounds like a good idea: using the Xbox’s hands-free controller, the Kinect, to go through medical information just before surgery so doctors at Sunnybrook Hospital can keep their hands sterile.

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The Informer



CityTV anchor Mark Dailey dies at age 57

Longtime anchor and voice of CityTV Mark Dailey has died at the age of 57 of cancer. Dailey joined CityPulse back in 1979 as a producer and assignment editor and worked the crime beat for 10 years, before his booming baritone voice became the trademark of the station.

CityTV co-founder Moses Znaimer recalled the first time he heard Dailey’s distinctive vocals, describing his voice as “a deep, authoritative, knowing sound (with a hint of mischief).” Indeed, Dailey was well-loved for his cheeky satirical voice-over promo spots, as is evidenced in this set of clips compiled in memoriam by Maclean’s. Like many, many Torontonians, Znaimer will always associate Dailey with his unforgettable delivery: “I’ve always believed the sound of the human voice is the one that lingers best in memory. Mark’s will remain in ours for a long, long time.”

Dailey had previously fought and won a six-year battle with prostate cancer, but announced on air in September that he had been diagnosed with kidney cancer. He succumbed to the disease Monday at Sunnybrook hospital.

Mark Dailey of Citytv dies of cancer [CBC]
RIP Mark Dailey, Great Voice of Toronto TV [Maclean’s]

The Informer



Reason to love Toronto: Because giving birth is (almost) like a day at the spa

(Image: Christopher Wahl)

Let’s put aside, for a second, the debate about hospital births versus home births. Let’s just acknowledge that 99 per cent of women in Canada deliver their babies in hospitals—some with midwives, some with doctors, some with epidurals, some without. Now let’s talk about the hospital rooms where the event takes place. Many are dingy and cramped, with walls so thin you can hear other women howling in agony next door. After delivery, moms might be transferred to a postpartum room that’s shared—toilet, shower and all—with one or two other women. Preemies are taken to intensive care rooms, packed with incubators, that offer families as much privacy as a bus shelter. In this quasi-public environment, moms and dads brave their first magical, terrifying parental night.

The experience is about to get better for the 4,500 women a year who are lucky enough to deliver in Sunnybrook Hospital’s sprawling new maternity ward. The $198-million facility is equipped with 20 relatively palatial private rooms with Wi-Fi, ensuite bathrooms (many with whirlpools), and windows overlooking the leafy Don Valley. The high-tech NICU floor features 48 private, curtained rooms nestled in the building’s interior to mimic the insulation of a womb. The waiting area is tricked out with a fireplace, flat-screen TV and even video games. It’s all designed to put families at ease, and they should enjoy the comforts while they can—it’s the most peace they’ll get for the next 18 years.

The Goods



Richard Florida: 10 things I can’t live without

The Rotman prof by day, rock star by night—who just released his latest urban manifesto—reveals the 10 things he can’t live without

My raison d’être
I couldn’t live without music. I think music is the most important part of decorating a home—more important than the furniture or even the art. I have so many favourites: Dizzy Gillespie, Chuck Berry, Cream, The Clash, U2, Death Cab for Cutie, Spoon…And Black Sabbath is still underrated.

Indie beer
I love artisanal micro­brews, especially hoppy ales. I order Bell’s Two Hearted, Rogue Dead Guy and Victory HopDevil by the case.

My axe
When I was 10, my dad and I got this Gibson on layaway. I grew up in a rough neighbourhood in New Jersey, and being in a rock band as a teenager kept me on the straight and narrow.

Modern design
I bought my Ron Arad rocking chair in Washington, D.C., about seven years ago. I love it so much, I move it from room to room.

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Here’s a list of people who make lots of money. That is all

Yesterday, the Star published on their site a list of provincial employees who make more than $100,000. And by list, we mean just that: no ledes, graphs or even an April Fool’s Day reference. It’s just a long list of names, job titles and dollar signs—no reference to the cover story on those employed in the public sector who made the “sunshine list.”

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