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The Power of Community Giving

Spring | 2012 | Issue 7

Norfolk General Hospital Foundation - 365 West Street, Simcoe, Ontario, N3Y 1T7 Phone 519-426-0130 ext. 2456

NGH Saved my Husbands Life

Cathy Davidson Do you ever look great, said a friendly voice. Looking up, the frail patient
responded Thats what they tell me. They thought I might not make it. You dont remember me, said the voice. The patient shrugged, a little confused, shaking his head. Well, we met three times in the Operating room, said the friendly voice that had been along for Paul Davidsons entire journey from start to finish. Typically Paul is a fairly healthy guy, a former public school physical education teacher and avid lawn bowler in Simcoe (hes even competed provincially), but on the morning of January 26, he didnt feel

Dr. Nabih Mattar with Paul Davidson and operating room nurses Ruth Driedger and Cathy Varey

very well. About a month prior, hed had a small accident with his snow blower that had caused some bruising, but no serious pain until that day when he had to be rushed by ambulance to the NGH Emergency room. In the ER, it was determined that Paul had ruptured his spleen and would have to undergo an emergency surgery (splenectomy) as soon as possible. The surgery would happen later that evening with Pauls wife and daughter anxiously by his side. Theyd seen him before as a patient just a few years back after undergoing a heart surgery, but this time would be different. After surgery, Pauls wife Cathy and their daughter returned home, only to be shaken just a few hours later by a phone call requesting they return. They had to go back in, his blood pressure had spiked and a second surgery would be required, said Cathy.

Through all the surgeries hed ever had, I never felt anything was going to go wrong. I was positive; I thought hes always going to make it, said Cathy.
While I was sitting in the waiting room during the second surgery there was that friendly face again. She offered to get me whatever I needed and call whoever needed to be called. This was the first time I was really concerned that he may not make it.

It was a long night and an even earlier morning for Cathy. After the second surgery she went home to let the dog out and have a bite of breakfast. I assumed everything was okay at that point, but when I returned to the hospital just a few hours later, everything seemed very quiet, too quiet. I thought somethings not right. The two nurses that had been by Pauls side confirmed Cathys worst fear. Hes critical, said the nurse.
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Norfolk General Hospital Foundation - 365 West Street, Simcoe, Ontario, N3Y 1T7 Phone 519-426-0130 ext. 2456

Every dollar makes a difference now and for the future

Types of surgeries performed at NGH: The majority of our cases are general surgery, we also perform gynecological, ophthalmic and orthopedic procedures Approximately 2500 surgeries are performed at NGH Annually Surgeons at NGH: Dr. Soenen, Dr. Mattar, Dr. Al-Aqeel, Dr. Al-Kassem, Dr. Thorpe, Dr. Leung Anesthetists: Dr. Thorogood, Dr. Beaver, Dr. Rich and Dr. Luyt We have nine registered nurses who are specialized in perioperative care Our team is very skilled in performing advanced laparoscopic surgical procedures The existing OR is 45 years old Those were words Cathy had not heard up until that moment and wondered what they really meant. He is very very sick, said the other nurse, who suggested family members be contacted. Of course when you hear that, you realize its a real crisis. At 11:30 that morning, surgeon Dr. Mattar let Cathy know he would have to in a third time with the assistance of Dr. Soenen. They had found a tear in an artery in the abdomen which was causing excessive bleeding and it had to be repaired quickly. I was a bit numb, said Cathy. All I could think about was how lonely it would be without him and I just couldnt imagine it. The third and final surgery was successful. Cathys spirits were raised, cautiously optimistic she knew she didnt have to worry anymore-things were going to be okay. But it would be sometime before she would be able to hear Pauls voice. When he wakes

Some people say small hospitals are not good enough, but Norfolk has been very good to us.
I really feel the doctors and nurses who cared for him during those first few days really saved his life and brought him back to where he is today. Everyone was on top of everything. There were always two nurses with him at all times. They never sat down and never left his side. I couldnt believe it. During this entire ordeal, Cathy was very thankful of the staff-all of them, especially one nurse in particular. Ruth was terrific, I

When I told Paul about what happened for the first time, he started to cry; now, he just shakes his head. He doesnt remember anything. Weve since returned to NGH, its a great feeling to know most of the nurses and they know us by name too. They remember our story and are happy to see Paul is as far along as he is.

had never met her before, but when she saw me she always gave me a big hug and asked how I was doing and how Paul was doing. She was terrific, I appreciated her a lot.
The team at NGH doesnt get nearly enough credit for what they do. They are responsible for saving my husbands life and we will always be grateful. They really deserve a lot of credit-they put in long hours under a lot of stress and they go home to their families after long days and hope their families appreciate what they do as well.

up, make sure you have your smiles on, said Dr. Mattar.

Paul Davidson and OR nurse Ruth Driedger

I really didnt know NGH was capable of performing these types of surgies. There are

NGH Foundation

some real advantages to living in a small town.

A Tradition of Caring for Our Community




Every dollar makes a difference now and for the future

In Our


Hello, my name is Kaitlyn Poole. I was in for day

surgery on February 14, 2012. I would just like to say how wonderful all the staff at NGH were to me from the start, which was my pre-op with Kathy (who was very friendly and made me really feel at ease during an unfamiliar time) to the day of my surgery where I recieved excellent care and bed side manner from all of the nurses (Ruth, Sheila, Pat, Brenda and Michael). They really made me feel comfortable and at ease during the whole situation.
Iris and Paul Smith enjoying a beautiful day on the golf course

Monthly Giving Made Easy

Last not but least, to Dr. Luut and Dr. Al Aqeel for their professionalism and care, I felt very safe and comfortable in their hands. I would like to say all

ts piece of mind, knowing that wherever you are and whatever youre doing, your financial support is still making an impact at your local hospital on a regular basis.

Paul and Iris Smith have lived in Norfolk for most of their lives, its where they launched their careers, raised a family, and eventually settled into retirement. Theyve always had some sort of connection to Norfolk General Hospital throughout the years. One of Pauls sisters, who recently passed, had been a nurse here. Both of their boys were born here, (you likely know Brad and Brent), and Paul had his hip operated on years ago and was very pleased about the care he received. You might even recognize Iris from the front Information Desk, one of our many volunteers who greet visitors to the hospital. I just think it is a great place to spend time and be a part of the Norfolk General Hospitals health care system, says Iris.

the staff went above and beyond to make my experience at NGH comfortable. I didnt feel stressed, upset or worried about my health. I felt at ease with the people who took care of me during an unpleasant time.
I hope that you will pass on my thanks to all of employees that I have mentioned, because I believe in reinforcing employees with the positive news. All too much these days, we hear about the negative, and I think it goes a long way to hear about the positives. A huge thanks again to everyone for their help and care this day. Best Regards, Kaitlyn Poole

We need the hospital in Simcoe, says Iris. Its so convenient. Convenience

is one very important factor, but quality of care is also essential and that is something Paul and Iris dont take for granted. I think the facility is great, the staff are absolutely wonderful, the nurses and the care that you get, theyre fabulous.

Becoming monthly giving club members made perfect sense for the Smiths. They can continue to lead active lives in the community, travel to their family vacation spot and not have to worry about making a regular contribution to the hospital.

We felt that rather than giving one lump sum at the end of the year, which is a little more difficult as you retire, it was easier for us to give monthly and then you really dont miss it. Its like a savings account, you put a little of away each week and you really dont miss it. I think its a very convenient way of doing it.
Once a year the Foundation will send me an email asking me if I wish to continue and Ill say yes or no. I can stop at any time, which makes it nice, and I just say sure keep it going, says Iris. The donation comes directly from your bank account and you can receive a receipt at the end of the year says Iris. You may not have used the hospital in the past, but youre going to need it in the future. Im sure of that.

Wed love to hear from you as well... Share Your Experience

eastern dogwood-Norfolk Countys official flower



Every dollar makes a difference now and for the future

ate Knechtel is an active member of our community and shes lived in the Port Rowan area most of her life. Before retirement she loved her career as real estate broker. It was fascinating working with people and seeing their emotions.

to Care

Inspiring Others
Kate Knechtel - NGH Foundation Board Member

This past year, Kate became one of our Kate enjoys a sundae at her favourite ice newest Board Members on cream shop in Port Rowan. the NGH Foundation. Its been a big learning curve for me, but the fact that I feel our hospital is so vital and so many of us will need it down the road makes me think I should do some part, whatever part I can to raise our profile and help keep the hospital become even more user friendly with more patient care services. My husband was in the hospital for a few months in 2006. During that time it really gave me a chance to see what was happening in our local hospital and learn more about some of the fundraising projects that were going on. I started to really pay attention to these fundraising projects and picked up some information about being a grateful patient.

Recently I sold a few properties and decided the hospital is a vital part of our future and worthy of investing in. Were all going to have to use our hospital someday. If we dont already use it now. Some of our friends have to travel to Hamilton, Kitchener or London for a lot of services, these are some services I would like to see brought closer to home. Id like people to continue to donate, so that we can get better instruments in our operating room and keep things up to date, there are so many needs. Im amazed as to how much is being donated to our hospital. There are so many places to give donations to these days, we are very fortunate when people consider NGH, thats the way I look at it and we can always do better! Im just trying to feel my way into how I can contribute in a better way and inspire my friends to do so as well.

Upcoming Events
23rd Annual NGH Foundation Golf Classic
July 17 & 18, 2012 Join us for a fabulous day of golfing and giving at the Norfolk Golf and Country Club in Simcoe. Follow our website for more information

Operating Room Revitalization Project 2012

OR Table - $60,000 We Need Your H elp! Brochoscope - $36,000 Colonoscopes (adult & paediatric) $46,000 (each) Anaesthetic Monitors - $105,000 Post Anaesthetic Care Unit Monitors - $80,000 Bassinet Warmer - $18,000


If you have questions or comments about this report please contact Jason Harnett, Communications Development Officer: