November 10, 2014

Andrew Bonar, in his own words

right and bumping into things. Again diagnosed with a head cold affecting one ear drum more than the other.

At the Argyllshire Gathering, 2004.

A few days later, I began to get questions at work regarding why I had developed a limp. My right leg was not sore, but I had clearly began to favour one side more than the other. My head was starting to get more imbalanced at this point. I went back to the family doctor. I was sent for blood work and my blood pressure was tested. The blood work appeared normal, but my blood pressure had become high. I was put on medication to attempt to control my rising blood pressure.

Never claiming that I am the smartest person, I piped at a dancing competition on the 25th of October. I was unable to put weight on my right leg at this point. The pressure of blowing my bagpipes did not make the situation any better.

By the 27th of October, I was unable to drive, unable to put any weight on my right leg, and I had begun to randomly fall over at home.

For eight years I have utilized the services of Dr. Ron Warkman, chiropractor. Dr. Warkman specializes in Active Release Treatment. Dr. Warkman’s two daughters used to be part of the Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band when they were younger. On the 29th of October, I went to see Dr. Warkman to see if he could help me with my right leg. It only took a few minutes for Dr. Warkman to say that he felt I was in the wrong office and I needed to seek a neurologist. I had now started to lose strength to my right arm also.

On Dr. Warkman’s recommendation, my family doctor attempted to make an appointment for me with a neurologist. On the morning of October 31st, my family doctor directed me not to wait to get an appointment, but rather go directly to the Emergency at Vancouver General Hospital. I now could only drag my right leg behind me as I attempted to walk and I needed my wife to hold me to prevent falling to the ground.

During my 12 hours at the emergency, the doctors tested me for almost everything you can imagine. Despite Dr. Warkman’s analysis, other doctors were doubtful that my leg was being affected by my brain. At least from all the other tests that were conducted, I feel that my health is pretty good. Finally an intern at Emergency said that she had just finished studying Neurology in class and thought that a CT scan of the head should be done. Less than an hour later came the news that the CT scan found a large tumour deep inside the left side on my brain. The tumour was growing quickly and had begun to push against the part of the brain that was controlling the right side of my body. The tumour was a 3.8cm x 3.2cm x 2.0cm. My brain had been displaced over the past few years by roughly the size of a golf ball.

The doctors that first located the tumour did not paint a pretty picture. I was first told that the tumour was too deep and too big to remove. I was admitted into hospital around 2 am on November 1st. Being told the tumour was too big to remove, considering how my quality of life was decreasing by the day, I was convinced that I was going to die in hospital.

Over the weekend, a few different doctors stopped by to give their thoughts. I was told that they would attempt a biopsy to at least determine to composition of the tumour. Depending on the type of tumour, other treatments might have . . .


  1. Wow. just read this to my wife Tina and she said oh my god about five times. Best wishes to you and your family Andrew. Thank you for sharing
    Euan Anderson

  2. Glad to see that you’re on the mend. Thanks for sharing your story. It has helped me to understand what had happened to a colleague of mine who was in the same situation a while back. All the best in the future.

  3. Andrew , what a story! Thank God for people with such skills as Dr Redekop. I am sure that he has given you a completely different life perspective. May the future bode well for you.Reay Mackay

  4. Hi Andrew,

    I don’t think we’ve ever met, but your name is well known to me. That’s quite an ordeal you had, but it sounds like you’re on the right road back. Good luck and happy piping ahead!


  5. What a life changing ordeal and your spirit appearing so good. All the best to you and hope for quick recovery and back to enjoying playing music……



Forgotten Password?