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Patient & Family Stories

Chris Cox didn't feel her toe nail come off. It was only when she took her sandals off hours later that she saw her nail was gone. That's when she and husband Peter knew something was seriously wrong. That incident was part of a decades-long journey through health care that convinced Peter the system has to change. "Chris's story is more common ...
October 31, 2013
Patient & Family stories
Barb Farlow was 22 weeks pregnant when her prenatal diagnosis revealed her daughter had Trisomy 13 and 18.  The genetic condition sees many babies die before birth, during labour, or shortly after birth. Just 10 ten per cent of children survive beyond one year, living disabled but happily with their families. Barb and husband Tim anticipated that ...
October 29, 2013
Patient & Family stories
​​  Nine months before Jessica Barnett died at 17, her neurologist dismissed her fainting spells and seizure-like episodes as psychological. "There's nothing wrong with you. Go home and learn how to breathe through this," he said. To her mother, Tanya, he added, "Don't waste your money on an ambulance." That set the Barnett’s adrift. After five ...
October 30, 2013
Patient & Family stories
Theresa Malloy-Miller and her husband Tim, walked out of the hospital into the bright sunny January morning in 2003 holding a little wooden box containing their 17-year-old son Daniel's belongings.  It didn't make sense. How could their healthy teen go from what looked like flu on Saturday to dying on Thursday? "We think he had myocarditis," the ...
October 28, 2013
Patient & Family stories
​ Anne Findlay struggled to make sense of the scene in front of her. There was an elderly woman in the bed. Her face was badly swollen and bruised. Her lip was stitched and her knee gashed.  She looked like an assault victim. “I looked at her and could hardly believe it was my mom,” says Anne. “She was that badly bruised. She looked awful.” Her ...
October 30, 2012
Patient & Family stories
​Sabina Robin is ever grateful for a doctor’s tale of immortal love and how it softened her family’s journey through grief. Sabina’s three young children waited with relatives in a quiet hospital room when she and the doctor walked in to deliver the news. The doctor sat down, arranged the kids around him, and began the story. It was about ...
October 31, 2011
Patient & Family stories
Little Sophia Maron never lived outside her mother’s womb. She was but 18 weeks old when her mom, Tania, delivered the stillborn girl into a place of confusion, fear and bureaucratic technicality. Hospital policy was that any baby under 20 weeks wasn’t human. Yet Sophia’s legacy is all too human and speaks to the true nature of humanity. Sophia’s ...
March 27, 2013
Patient & Family stories
The quintessential nurse stood by her dying father’s bedside and uttered a bitter pledge to her family. “I will never enter a hospital again,” said Judy Boychuk Duchscher, who had seen her father suffer countless and needless indignities in previous days. Judy never kept her pledge. She did not give up on nursing. In fact, she threw herself into a ...
October 29, 2012
Patient & Family stories
The comfort of a little dog in her hospital bed, thanks to a compassionate blind eye turned by her nurses, meant the world to Jeri-Joann Lyddiatt. Jeri-Joann, or J-J to almost everyone who knew her in her hometown of Ingersoll, Ontario, died of ovarian cancer in June, 2011, at the age of 37. Born with a mild learning disability, she functioned ...
October 27, 2014
Patient & Family stories
​One night in January, 2010, a weak and despairing Kapka Petrov sat down at a table in her Toronto home and wrote her own eulogy. The next day, she and her husband and their daughter were to fly to Bulgaria in a last-ditch bid for hospital treatment that Kapka had been unable to find in her adopted country of eight years. Bulgaria might not be ...
October 28, 2014
Patient & Family stories
​Two days after his car accident, Vance Davis was struggling in a Regina hospital. His mom Donna was out of the room when Vance asked what seemed like a strange question. “Am I going to die?” “Not on my watch,” said the duty nurse, chuckling.  The staff were well aware of Vance’s head injury. But they repeatedly said it was minor — barely more ...
October 31, 2011
Patient & Family stories
When it comes to treating people in her care with honesty and compassion, Carole Jukosky has chosen to up her game. Her dad, a retired RCMP officer, would not have expected anything less. Carole’s father Herbert Strasser died unexpectedly on Sept. 19, 2011, after a tortuous six-week hospital odyssey, ping-ponging between a number of health care ...
October 29, 2014
Patient & Family stories
​ Claire Friedman was not the mother-in-law of sitcoms and punchlines. She was active, vibrant and loved by friends and family. So when Bernie Weinstein walked into the hospital that day in 2002 and saw his mother-in-law restrained in a chair, he was shocked. “My mother-in-law was a patient in the Jewish General Hospital, recovering from cancer ...
November 02, 2012
Patient & Family stories
Two weeks after his brush with death, Nicholas Bravi stepped out of his shower with the Steri-Strips washed away and the angry red scar on his chest fully visible for the first time. For his mom, Carola Bravi, the sight of that scar sent her mind tumbling back to a chaotic hospital scene, moments after the routine had suddenly snapped into the ...
October 30, 2014
Patient & Family stories
​Terri Sabo had places to be and people to see. Terri was a go-getter. At age 43 she began feeling tired. She’d huff, puff and perspire after walks up hilly Nanaimo streets. Terri saw her doctor and was sent to an allergist. Her G.P. blamed an allergy to the family dog. The staff at her Vancouver Island business school, however, remained ...
October 31, 2011
Patient & Family stories
​ To her loved ones, it was as if their beloved Fervid vanished overnight. Yes, Fervid Trimble was 87 years old. She was ill with an apparent flu. Yet she’d been sharp as a tack just days before, living independently in her own apartment. A worried phone call from Fervid had been enough of a concern for family to initially take her to an emergency ...
October 31, 2012
Patient & Family stories
​They tried to close the file on Martha Murray soon after the autopsy and toxicology reports came back. The Ontario Chief Coroner’s office concluded Martha’s death, at age 22, was natural. No recommendations were made. What wasn’t natural, at least for the coroner’s office, was in dealing with a family unwilling to accept its findings. “People ...
October 31, 2011
Patient & Family stories
​ The lingering deaths of two loved ones continues to inspire  Carol Kushner, a champion of compassion in healthcare. Carol’s best friend died gracefully this year, after weeks of love and laughter. Carol’s  father’s death, almost 30 years ago, was cruel by comparison. “Heaven and hell,” says Carol, a health policy analyst and co-chair of ...
November 01, 2012
Patient & Family stories
Raeline McGrath risked everything to fight in Claire’s memory. ​Claire, her nine-year-old, was gone. Now friendships were at stake, along with the nursing job she loved in a Newfoundland hospital. “I knew what the fallout would be,” she says. “I knew, without a doubt, I’d be labeled as ungrateful — seen as a mother struggling unsuccessfully to ...
Patient & Family stories
How did 80-year old Ambrose Wald fall out of a hospital chair specifically designed to stop patients from falls? It's a question to which his daughter Irene Wald, a nurse of almost 35 years, has never received an answer. "There's a flaw in the way that the fall happened. No real investigation took place as to what happened to my dad," says ...
November 01, 2013
Patient & Family stories