Æ

Foundation

This Thanksgiving, our team at Bruyère is grateful for YOU!

Your compassion can provide essential care for an Ottawa neighbour spending their holiday in the hospital.

My name is Nicole, and this Thanksgiving, I hope to hear from you.

Because the truth is, we need you.

And in a minute, I’ll tell you why. But first I want to introduce myself a bit more: I’m a complex care doctor at Bruyère’s Saint-Vincent Hospital, right here in Ottawa. Saint-Vincent Hospital is one of four Bruyère campuses in our city —you might have driven past it on Cambridge Street!

It’s important for me to take the time to write you to tell you about a former patient of mine. His name is Bill and his story will illustrate perfectly why we need your help today.

But first, I want to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!

As you gather with family and friends during the holiday weekend, it will be a time of gratitude. And even when the world feels overwhelming—like it has of late—there’s always something to be grateful for.

And this Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for you.

I get to see firsthand how your generosity helps equip our health care teams with the latest technology and equipment to provide quality care. Without you, I wouldn’t be able to support patients like Bill. Your compassion helped me restore his quality of life!

Please know that every one of your gifts is directed to improve the overall delivery of care across our four campuses.

And that means when one of your closest friends or family are in need of health care, they’ll have access to the highest level right here at home.

But that’s not all.

Every patient that walks through our doors also becomes part of our family at Bruyère. And we work hard to ensure they receive the very best… just as you’d care for a loved one when they’re sick.

You might not know that we’re one of the only complex care facilities in our region. And over the last few years, the need for this kind of care has grown significantly.

Which means, more and more of your neighbours who need the most complex kind of care are counting on us.

And we’re counting on you.

Right now, we need to raise funds to purchase essential equipment like safety lifts, blanket warming machines and portable ultrasounds. And your gift of $50, $100 or even $200 will make a huge difference for somebody spending their holiday in a hospital…somebody who needs a bit of extra comfort and care.

Are you able to help? It’ll mean a great deal to somebody like my former patient, Bill.

Like I said before, I wasn’t the only one who played a critical role in restoring his quality of life. I was helped by our amazing care teams. I was helped by you, together with other caring supporters in our community.

As a teenager, Bill played Junior Hockey for the Cornwall Royals—in the same league as the Ottawa 67s! He was athletic and took good care of himself. He got married to Brenda, raised a family, and became a proud grandpa to two grandchildren.

He was healthy and strong... Until he wasn’t.

In 2020—during the height of the pandemic—he was diagnosed with rectal cancer, and lost half of his body weight. At just 119 pounds, he was quite literally skin and bones.

When he arrived at Bruyère’s Saint-Vincent Hospital, he was immobile, emaciated and frail. He required months of blood transfusions, IV antibiotics and daily wound care to stabilize his condition.

He relied heavily on safety lifts to help him move around. These machines greatly decreased his chronic pain—allowing him to regain his sense of independence.

But for Bill, the most challenging thing was not being able to see his family. You see, he was admitted during the early stages of the pandemic and only able to visit with his wife, Brenda. He missed his children and his grandchildren, dearly. It was so lovely to watch as the nurses went over and above to connect him with them virtually.

Bill went through a long and difficult medical journey. It took months of hard work for him to be able to sit up or walk on his own. During this time, we focused on celebrating the small victories: a wound closing, his appetite improving, sitting up, gaining weight, and finally, walking!

“The doctor, and all the staff, were so good at lifting my spirits that I didn’t fully realize just how bad things were until much later when I recovered,” Bill recalled.

“All the staff, including housekeeping, took time to get to know me and crack jokes. And even though they were so busy, the nursing team surprised me on my birthday with a cupcake!”

When I discharged Bill, he had not only gained all of his weight back, but also his positive outlook on life.

“The way I was treated at Bruyère made me want to play my part in how I make others feel—to bring my best foot forward and encourage others whenever I can.”

Today, Bill is back home in Kanata with his wife, children, and grandchildren. He just celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary!

I’m so honoured to have played a part in getting him there. I hope you are, too!

Your meaningful and long-standing support of Bruyère helps our care teams—helps me—provide better care for each patient who walks through our doors, so they can return home to their families as soon as possible.

And while they’re with us, it’s my promise to provide them with the highest level of care…

… Something we can only do with your compassionate care.

If you can give at this time, your gift will allow us to purchase essential equipment that will help me, and the rest of our team, help more people like Bill. People who might be spending their holiday in a hospital or in long-term care. Away from home.

If you feel moved to make a difference today, your generosity could not come at a better time. Your support is essential to helping us get people back home—healthier and happier.

Thank you! And from our family at Bruyère, to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

Dr. Nicole Dunlop
Chief of Department and Medical Director of Short Term Complex Medicine at Bruyère’s Saint-Vincent Hospital

P.S. This Thanksgiving, we need to raise funds to purchase essential equipment like safety lifts, blanket warming machines and portable ultrasounds. Your gift will make a huge difference for somebody spending their holiday in a hospital…somebody who needs a bit of extra comfort and care. If you’re able to make a caring gift today, I urge you not to wait. Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away!