Patient Story: Matthew Nicolas

In 2021 St. Boniface Hospital marks 150 years of compassionate care for Manitobans. What began as a modest four-bed building is now Manitoba’s second-largest hospital and a research leader, a place of hope and healing for patients like Matthew Nicolas.

The business of everyday life wasn’t cancelled last year – as Matthew Nicolas can tell you.

Life went on in the pandemic. Matthew knew this well, from his work as a Realtor with Royal LePage Dynamic Real Estate. Then, in October 2020, he became one of more than 13,000 surgery patients who receive compassionate care at St. Boniface Hospital annually.

When the pandemic reached Winnipeg in the spring, Matthew had clients who suddenly found themselves at risk of being homeless as the city locked down. “We still had to go out and do our best, and make sure people were looked-after,” he said.

At St. Boniface Hospital, caregivers and front line staff continue to provide essential care for Manitobans who face critical and complex conditions.

“Babies continue to be born in the pandemic; people get divorced and have to move; people pass away. All these things keep happening every day, and it’s up to us to keep helping people out,” he explained. “It’s a new normal for us all.”

Matthew’s own sense of normal was upended at the end of September, when the hernia he had been diagnosed with a couple of weeks earlier started giving him more trouble.

“It started to get pretty bad,” he said. “There was some stuff going on that I didn’t feel was ideal, so I called my doctor.”

From Urgent Care at Victoria General Hospital, Matthew was transferred to St. Boniface Hospital early in the morning on October 1. He was admitted as an inpatient of the Surgery Program on the 4th floor.

“Everyone there was so kind, they explained exactly what was going to happen; they were attentive and made sure I felt OK. It was a comforting experience, and nice to have such a kind welcome to the Hospital.” After spending the day in his hospital room, Matthew went into surgery just past 9 p.m. and was in recovery by just past midnight on October 2.

“My surgeon called my girlfriend to let her know that everything had gone well. Which she appreciated, because she had been worried about me!” He was discharged later that same day.

The Surgery Program staff were really on top of things, he said. “They made it a pleasurable experience for me, even though it was quite…uncomfortable, if that makes sense,” he laughed.

Make history by purchasing your 2021 Mega Million Choices Lottery tickets today!

Announcing The 2021 St. Boniface Mega Million Choices Lottery

Ticket purchases support St. Boniface Hospital Foundation and help make the difference for patients and doctors, nurses, hospital staff, researchers, and caregivers. When you win, Manitobans win.

Monday, January 11, 2021 – St. Boniface Hospital Foundation has announced the 2021 Mega Million Choices Lottery, with 6 millionaire Grand Prize choices for this year’s biggest winner, including homes in Winnipeg and Brandon, a stunning cottage in Clear Lake country, and a gorgeous ocean-view yacht suite home on Vancouver Island. Or, choose $1.2 million tax-free cash.

Every single prize in this year’s Mega Million Choices Lottery has a cash option. And there’s more to win for early buyers – including the over $34,000 Loyalty Bonus Draw (deadline to buy: Thursday, January 28, 2021) and the over $63,000 Ultimate Bonus Draw, plus 26 Early Bird draws – worth over $255,000 in prizes.

Most importantly, your ticket purchases make the difference at St. Boniface Hospital. Now more than ever, we need your continued support.

“2021 marks 150 years of compassionate care at St. Boniface Hospital,” said Karen Fowler, Interim President and CEO, St. Boniface Hospital Foundation. “Through your purchase of a lottery ticket, you enable the Hospital to offer the highest quality of care, perform world-class research right here in Manitoba, and aid in the purchase of specialized equipment. With your help, we are looking forward to supporting excellence in patient care and research at St. Boniface Hospital for another 150 years!”

When you win, Manitobans win.

Say ‘yes’ and help build the next 150 years at St. Boniface Hospital.

It’s easy to get your tickets for the 2021 St. Boniface Mega Million Choices Lottery. Order online at or by phone at 204-256-7203. Depending on COVID-19 provincial restrictions, in person sales will commence when allowed. Please visit our website on where and when in person sales may be available.

Mega Million Choices Lottery tickets cost 1 for $100, 2 for $175, 4 for $300 and 8 for $500.

There’s also the 50/50 PLUS – with a jackpot that could grow to over $2,000,000, and the winner takes half – and the Big Score PLUS extra game, with 120 winners and $156,000 in prizes up for grabs. 50/50 tickets are 2 for $20, 8 for $40, and 30 for $60; Daily Cash Calendar tickets are 2 for $20, 5 for $40, and 10 for $60.

(50/50 and Big Score tickets must be ordered in conjunction with 2021 Mega Million Choices Lottery tickets.)

Let’s take the next step together, and help all Manitobans.

Every lottery ticket purchase is a small yet impactful promise for St. Boniface Hospital Foundation to keep building on a legacy of caring for patients with dignity, compassion, and medical excellence. Your ticket is an investment in top-level research – and breakthroughs to help Manitobans, and people around the world, live better. From labour and delivery to end-of-life care, you can be there for our patients.

NICU Babies Thrive – Because of You

Experiences at Hospital intense, unforgettable for Vandal family

Mixed emotions overtake Brooke Vandal when she passes St. Boniface Hospital.

“It’s bittersweet, as wonderful a place as the Hospital is. It was our home for two months. It’s amazing how a hospital can bring such joy, such as a birth of a child, to such sadness when your loved ones pass on. Life goes full circle.”

In Spring 2016, Brooke, her husband Todd, and then 18-month-old daughter Kailynne anticipated the arrival of a new family member. What no one could anticipate was the baby’s arrival at 27 weeks.

Heart Pillow a Huge Help: Grateful Cardiac Patient

Doug Wark has high praise for St. Boniface Hospital staff after open-heart surgery.

As a bonus, now well into retirement, he learned something new about the company where he built a three-decade career.

The Brandon resident, 73, underwent double bypass surgery and an aortic valve replacement on Sept. 10. Recovering in hospital, he was urged to cough to prevent a fluid build-up that promotes pneumonia. A heart-shaped pillow made it easier.


St-Boniface Hospital Foundation


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