Photo by Don Fennell
The generosity of a local family will improve medical imaging at Richmond Hospital, while also hopefully inspiring others to give.
A donation of $100,000 by Manmohan and Kusum Vij will assist in the purchase of a portable digital X-ray machine. The new unit can be used at a patient’s bedside and is faster and more accurate while using lower doses of radiation.
“This is really a gift for the whole community. It will help (doctors) diagnose their patients and treat them well,” Dr. Ian Wong, head of medical imaging at Richmond Hospital, said at a Wednesday event to celebrate the contribution.
Wong explained that medical imaging is a speciality which uses x-rays, ultrasounds, cat scans, MRIs and mammograms to see inside the body.
“Sometimes having a picture is a thousand words in answering what the disease going on inside might be,” he said.
Born in Amritsar in the Indian state of Punjab, Manmohan and Kusum Vij raised two children, son Vikram and daughter Gauri, in India. Manmohan headed up a textile company with his grandfather in Bombay before the couple emigrated to Canada in 1994. They have resided in Richmond since 1998.
Manmohan said Richmond Hospital is an important resource within the city.
“Right from birth to the end of life we need the services of the hospital,” he said. “Our Richmond Hospital has given us very good services, today is giving us better services, and in the future, with your help, will be giving us the best services maybe in Canada. I say, and I underline, that with the help of my brothers and sisters, especially seniors, should give some attention (to giving) whatever little or more they have in the kitty. I suggest this is the best investment.”
The couple’s son, renowned international chef Vikram Vij, also spoke on the importance of giving.
“I’m truly humbled and honoured to be a son of Manmohan and Kusum,” he said. “It’s important for us to realize when we come to a new country, to a foreign country, you cannot forget the roots of where you came from. Who we are today is an offspring of the country we grew up in.
“But we (also) cannot forget that the country we (now) live in, which is Canada, is the country that has given us the love, and the attention and the idea of freedom. Last year I had the opportunity to cook for the troops in Kuwait. The fact we’re all free is because those troops are protecting us.
“So, let’s make sure this gift my father and mother have given…encourages other members of the community to give back to the country because we do live in one of the finest democracies in the world. Let’s make sure this habit of giving in our community is constantly ongoing.”
Richmond Hospital Foundation president and CEO Natalie Meixner said unprecedented population growth in Richmond is surging exponentially and a booming seniors’ population is placing enormous demands on our hospital facilities and equipment.
“We thank Manmohan and Kusum for helping to ensure our medical teams can meet the needs of our community now and in the future,” she said.
During the last 30 years, Richmond Hospital Foundation has raised nearly $75 million to help purchase vital medical equipment, improve patient care services and upgrade facilities at Richmond Hospital.