Millionaire Lottery funds ‘ordinary’ to extraordinary equipment for care

Andrew Cho is one of thousands who have relied on lottery-funded equipment to recover, rehabilitate

Come February, one lucky winner could be walking through the front doors of a dream home, as part of the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation’s Millionaire Lottery.

For this year’s lottery kick-off, grand prize options include condos and homes located in communities such as South Surrey, Kelowna and Sooke, or a cash prize of $2.7 million.

And while thousands of ticket-holders will reap the benefits of winning one of the 3,000 goodies up for grabs – including cash prizes, travel packages and new cars – many more people will benefit from the initiatives on which the raised funds will be spent.

Ticket sales support Vancouver General Hospital and its surrounding programs at UBC Hospital, the G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and Vancouver Community Health Services, funding a mix of equipment and research.

Basic to world-class technology leads to recovery

Andrew Cho is one of those thousands who will be forever grateful for the nurses, doctors and equipment that helped him recover after becoming paralyzed earlier this year.

In January, the Vancouver man had returned from dinner with friends when he suddenly collapsed, unable to move from the neck down.

According to doctors, a blood vessel had burst in Cho’s C3 and C4 vertebrae.

Lying on the floor in his home, Cho managed to use his tongue to activate Siri voice command and call 911.

He was taken to Vancouver General Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery followed by four months of therapy at the G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre.

Some might describe Cho’s resilience as nothing short of remarkable, but if you ask him, he’ll tell you that his treatment was more amazing.

“They decompressed my spinal cord injury within six hours of it happening,” Cho said during a media launch for the lottery Thursday.

“Research is extremely important, I know that’s how they were able to treat me.”

Along the way through recovery, Cho relied on not only basic equipment, such as a ceiling lift to help him get out of his bed each morning, but cutting-edge technology like the exoskeleton suit that helped him learn how to walk again.

It’s the variety of equipment funded through the annual lottery that makes it so integral to providing leading-class care, said Angela Chapman, foundation senior vice-president.

“We’ve bought things as regular and everyday as ventilators, used both in our hospitals and long-term care,” Chapman said, “and also things like ultrasounds and scopes things that people are used to seeing when having their diagnostic work done every day.”

The deadline to purchase tickets for the grand prize lottery draw is Friday, Jan. 12, 2018 at midnight.

Tickets are available by phone 604-602-5848 or toll free at 1-888-445-5825, at London Drugs, VGH, or the Grand Prize homes and online at


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