Have you ever had the wind knocked out of you? It’s the scariest feeling in the world.
This is how I felt back in March 2022.
After being sick for a few days, I suddenly woke up in the middle of the night gasping for air. I was so weak I could barely walk. My husband drove me straight to the emergency department at Cambridge Memorial Hospital (CMH). Let me tell you, I’ve never been more grateful to have a hospital so close to home. I was fortunate that one of the tools used to help diagnose my sudden illness was CMH’s brand new CT scanner.
Having equipment readily available close to home reminded me of another experience I had many years ago. I needed an MRI for a knee injury, but this was before CMH had a machine of their own. I had to make a time-consuming journey to another city to get the diagnosis that I needed for my knee.
This got me thinking — what about people who don’t have a car? What about the young families who can’t arrange or afford childcare? What about those sudden emergencies like the one I recently had? It has been over 10 years since the MRI was installed and almost 100,000 images have been made from that one machine at CMH. That’s a lot of wear and tear on a single piece of medical equipment!
By making sure top-notch equipment is available in our community, you can give your loved ones and neighbours the care they deserve. I’m so grateful that when I was struggling to breathe, the medical team at CMH had all the equipment they needed at their fingertips.
Finally, after a slew of tests, I was diagnosed with Legionella Pneumonia. To make matters worse, my husband and family couldn’t be with me because of pandemic restrictions. I was in the Hospital for 12 days, and during this time I needed a constant supply of oxygen. I remember one night waking up in a panic. I was shaking and coughing. It felt like I was suffocating. Two nurses sat with me for over an hour, rubbing my back and reassuring me, until I was calm enough to go back to sleep. They comforted me during one of my toughest nights.
I am thankful to have experienced this kind of compassionate care at CMH during my recent illness and in many other significant moments of my life. My three brothers, sister, and two daughters were all born here. As a life-long resident of Cambridge, CMH has always been our family’s Hospital during the good times and the difficult times.
My involvement with CMH goes beyond being a patient. You may remember when CMH had a hair salon. Years ago, my mother volunteered in the salon lifting patients’ spirits with her kindness and bright smile. I’ve followed in her footsteps as a volunteer, Foundation Board Member, and donor for the past 25 years.
When I first joined the Board, I learned something that shocked me: 100% of funding for all hospital equipment comes from community donations, not the government. Knowing this made me even more determined to do my part, so that everyone in our community has access to the best equipment and the best care when they need it most.
Please join me by purchasing a light or a string of lights. Your donation to the Trees of Caring campaign will help fund a new MRI machine, so doctors can diagnose and care for patients right here in our community.
To ensure that others receive the same incredible care, my gift to Trees of Caring is in honour of my husband Mike, and our daughters. They were my inspiration during this difficult time.