When you're a member of the community you realize the importance of having a community hospital. When you're a member of the Southlake family you appreciate the care and compassion you receive from your Southlake familiy members.
During the last year I've known many friends and their family members, as well as some of my own immediate family members that required surgeries, treatments and various diagnostic tests or procedures at Southlake Regional Health Centre.
In this last year I sat with my sister Debbie on many occassions while she received her weekly Chemo treatments at the Cancer Clinic. I observed the nurses treat her with kindness and compassion each and every time. They were professional and empathetic. They answered her questions and listened to her concerns. The volunteers were attentive and friendly, offering us both a cup of tea and a cookie, taking the time to have a little chat if the timing seemed right.
After my husband Kim had some cardiac diagnostic tests he shared a story with me about the Nuclear Medicine Technologist that performed the tests. He said that she had a quiet and gentle nature and as they were waiting they talked about hobbies and found that they shared a passion for the same hobby. She took a few extra moments to talk to him and diffused any potential anxiety he may have had about the procedure. On another occassion a transport assistant took him down from Cardiac Short Stay to have an angiogram. He was friendly and offered a bit about his own story and why he enjoyed working at Southlake. He wished Kim luck and said he'd return later to take him back upstairs.
My mom Annette was brought into the Emergency Department via ambulance from her retirement home. There were medical concerns that needed to be assessed and addressed. She was afraid and had difficulty understanding what was happening to her. The Doctor was patient as he explained to her and the rest of the family the plan for treatment. When mom was admitted it was difficult to find some food choices that appealed to her. One day the food services attendant took a moment to listen to us and made a note on the chart so that she would get some yogurt with each meal because mom loved her yogurt! Another morning I went to see mom and the Lab Technician was just finishing taking a blood sample. They were chatting about the Blue Jays. She turned around and saw me and said "I didn't know this was your mom!"
Also in this last year three of my nephews and their spouses had their babies at Southlake. I became a very proud Great Aunt to Ellie Marie, Ivy Jean and Jaxson Ford and was able to hold each of them during their short stays on the Birthing Unit.
In this last year I lost my sister Debbie, my husband Kim and my mom Annette and was comforted by my Southlake family. I am not adequately able to express my sincere thankfulness for the kind words, the smiles of understanding and encouragement, the gentle caring hugs. I was reminded by a coworker as he hugged me that we were family, The Southlake family.
As I navigate through the wilderness of grief I am encouraged to grieve, to feel, to mourn and during this process to have hope. When thinking about the latter I am inspired by my sister who looked cancer in the face, woke up every morning thankful and never gave up hope! When I look into the bright smiling faces of my great nieces and nephew I also see hope. For them and their families. Hope that if and when they need healthcare that Southlake Regional Health Centre and the Southlake Family will be here for them.
For this reason I am joining my coworkers and walking with them to raise money for the Southlake Foundation. Our team is called the Laboratory Retrievers and any donation you can make towards this cause would be greatly appreciated.
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