Meet Donna Little
Donna arrived at Saint-Vincent Hospital following a knee operation that didn’t heal properly, limiting her mobility and preventing her from living independently. Initially, she believed she would be at the hospital for six months to a year and was undergoing regular physical and occupational therapy treatments. A fall, medical complications and socio-economic barriers saw that timeline extend to years
As Donna is in a wheelchair, one of the biggest hurdles she had to overcome in her journey home was the need for affordable, accessible housing. After years on the waitlist, she finally received the good news that an apartment was available. Upon signing this lease, she faced yet another barrier: the cost of the type of bed she needed, a hospital-grade bed at $11,000, was beyond what she had expected and could afford. Having come so far in her journey, the Bruyère Foundation, thanks to the help of our incredible community of donors, was able to raise funds and help Donna finally make her way home.
While at Bruyère, Donna became a strong advocate not only for herself but also for those around her. She sat on the Patient and Family Advisory Committee for the majority of her time here and, although she is no longer a patient, she remains an invaluable member of this committee.
Since her move, Donna still continues to visit Bruyère frequently. She connects with patients and ensures their voice is at the table. At her new home, Donna said she is thinking of joining the residents’ committee to continue her outstanding work in the community.
Donna’s voice is one of many that we listen to at Bruyère. Patients like Donna advise on numerous projects and sometimes help directly with research. The Access to Resources in the Community project, for example, frequently consults with patients and former patients to help determine research priorities.