He’ll keep on truckin’ – thanks to you!

All smiles: 50/50 PLUS winning-ticket holder Gary Dobson, wife Pierrette (r), and their daughter Dominique (l).


Gary Dobson was thrilled to hold the winning ticket for the 2021 Mega Million Choices 50/50 PLUS draw last week.

But St. Boniface Hospital had already helped him get a big win.

Dobson, 66, came to the Hospital on July 9, 2020 for cardiovascular surgery. The operation became more extensive once surgeon Dr. Michael Yamashita realized Dobson’s situation was more dire than first diagnosed. Dobson was at risk for the notoriously lethal widowmaker – a type of heart attack caused by a 100% blockage of the left anterior descending artery.

Dobson made a strong recovery. He has high praise for the Hospital staff who looked after him.

“They’re the right people in the right jobs. I could tell they all wanted me to succeed.”

Along with the medical ability of Dr. Yamashita and team, so many smaller gestures made a big difference, Dobson said. He appreciated a move to an alternate room so he could get more rest, tweaks to his meals, and even the sponge baths “that were never awkward.”

Dobson’s wife, Pierrette, the lone family member allowed to visit (in accord with COVID-19 protocols), also had a positive experience.

“The care was fantastic,” she said. “No one minded if I came early in the day and stayed until late at night.”

Pierrette kept track of all the nurses’ names on her phone. So thankful were Gary and Pierrette that they bought gift cards for Hospital staff.

New wheels, and hope for the next patient

A longtime hospital-lottery ticket buyer, Dobson said he’s won a few small prizes over the years. The prizes weren’t the goal though; it was always about the supporting the cause.

Getting the phone call that he’d won the 50/50 PLUS, however, was a surreal moment. Less than a week later, however, it was decidedly real. After buying a new Honda Civic for his daughter, Dominique, the VIA Rail retiree is looking replace his 16-year-old diesel pickup truck. The Dobsons are also considering property in the Falcon West Estates lake community.

A scar from ankle to hip reminds Dobson that his bypass required a healthy vein be taken from his leg and grafted around the narrowed or blocked portions of his heart. Learning of new and less-invasive endoscopic techniques for vein harvesting, he’s hopeful St. Boniface Hospital will soon have this capability.

“It’s just the sort of thing a lottery can help support.”


Grateful for the care you or a loved one received at St. Boniface Hospital? Say thanks!

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