May 30, 1961 – November 9, 2020
My sister, Lori Frances Fillinger, passed away on November 9, 2020 after a long illness.
Lori was born in Merritt, B.C. on May 30, 1961 and shortly after her birth she developed a tear duct infection which soon evolved into encephalitis. She began to have violent seizures which gradually intensified as she aged until, at age six, they threatened her life.
Our father conferred with the best neurosurgeons at the time and it was decided that she should undergo a hemispherectomy (removal of the infected right side of her brain).
She spent over a year in the Vancouver General Hospital and gradually recovered although her left arm and hand became withered and her left foot was dysfunctional, she was also blind in the lower left quadrant of her vision. During this time our mother lived in a hotel close to the hospital and visited every day.
Lori was the first patient to successfully undergo this procedure in Western Canada but her life expectancy was, at best, ten more years. As she grew older, the plastic cap which had replaced her skull required constant replacement. Again, long periods of time in the Vancouver General Hospital.
Lori was a very gregarious person who liked everyone except those associated with hospitals including doctors.
Lori played soccer with the handicapped team, rode a three wheeled bicycle and even tried floor hockey. She also worked as a waitress at the California Cafe on Yale Rd. and as a greeter for Mertin GM.
She attended A.D. Rundle middle school and attained a grade six equivalency. She could read and write enough to get by and could pay her own bills and do her banking unassisted.
Her friend and companion, Richard White, provided immeasurable care and solace during her later years.
She is survived by her brothers Gary (Illona) and Glen (Shirley), nephews Ian, Dan, Grant, Keith and niece Patricia.
Special thanks to the exceptional care and assistance of Fraser Health, especially Christina, Laurel, Shari, the nurses on 3 North and the many care aids that made her comfortable in her last days.
Lori had a very tough life with lots of pain but it was cancer that took her away.
Gary Fillinger, her “big brother”.
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