Neither Reg nor Josh Gamble has ever had to make major use of the Almonte General Hospital but that doesn’t mean they don’t fully appreciate how important it is to their community. According to Reg, “That hospital is one of the major attractions for why people move to Almonte, and why people stay and live here.”
It’s that strong sense of community that Reg has always brought to the many things that he’s done since moving here in the early 70’s from Maxville, where he’d grown up. He and wife Gail raised their two sons, Josh and Jake. Even with his own growing funeral business, and Gail working in Ottawa as a nurse, Reg still made time to be involved in many local endeavours including the North Lanark Highland Games, the Lions Club, and chairing the building campaign for the Rosamond Unit. Giving back to the community was given a high priority by Reg, and he has passed that value on to his son Josh.
Reg proudly displays a Certificate of Appreciation from the Hospital dated 1977 to 1989, in the C.R. Gamble Funeral Home and Chapel office that son Josh now occupies on a full-time basis. Although Reg is still involved in the business, Josh bought it in 2010 and he, his wife Stephanie and six-year-old son Aden live in the house that he grew up in, part of the Funeral Home. As would be expected, Stephanie occasionally has to pitch in and help out, and Aden is already involved too, setting up flowers or putting out cards.
The one Emergency visit that Reg can vividly remember was shortly after emceeing the local highland games, something he’s done for decades, because he had an extremely painful earache. After being examined by Dr. Franz Ferraris, Reg was told that he didn’t have an earache but rather an inflammation of the mandible (jaw) muscle on that side of his head. This condition was probably the result of him talking a lot. Reg was told he needed to rest the muscle for several days; to not talk a lot. Those that knew him well responded, ‘he’s going to die…!’
Josh and Reg, as well as CR Gamble Funeral Home and Chapel, have recently ‘put themselves in the picture’ as just one more way that they can give back to the community and support their local hospital. Their five-year commitment to the diagnostic imaging campaign and continued sponsorship of several AGH events will go a long way to helping ensure patients at the hospital have access to quality patient care close to home.
f you want to join the Gambles and “put yourself in the picture” with a one-time gift, monthly donation or multi-year pledge, please contact Al Roberts, Managing Director, AGH-FVM Foundation, at 613-256-2500 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Since I joined the AGH FVM Foundation two and a half years ago, I’ve met hundreds of wonderful, amazing people. Of all those people, I don’t think anyone that I’ve met quite represents the reason to support quality health care close to home as well as the late Rita Hickey, who passed away last month at the age of 93.
As Managing Director of the Foundation, my office sits just inside the Hospital’s front entrance. This allows me to meet and speak with dozens of people each day, some are patients, others are family members visiting patients, others are staff, volunteers, contractors, and delivery people.
I’m often asked if having my door so close to the entrance and usually left wide open doesn’t result in constant interruptions. I usually answer that the reward for those occasional interruptions is all of the interesting people that I get to meet, some of whom will share their hospital story with me.
That’s how I first met Rita Hickey. A long-time resident on the Rosamond Unit, Mrs. Hickey was in the sitting area in the Hospital lobby, outside my door, almost every day around 3 p.m., visiting with one of her eight sons, daughters-in-law, or grandchildren. The 3 p.m. visit was just one of the times that her dedicated family checked in on “Grandma” every day. At 3 p.m. most often Greg, but sometimes Tony or Cheri, would bring her coffee and a brownie or cookie and sit and talk with her. If the weather was nice, they’d go outside so Mrs. Hickey could get some fresh air. It was a daily routine for her, and truth be told for me too. I tried never to miss an opportunity to say hi to Mrs. Hickey, sometimes complimenting her if she’d had her hair done, other times asking her about who was visiting with her that day or what she was having with her coffee.
According to son Des, “During our visits with Mom she never failed to mention how ‘lucky she was’. Due to her health and constantly fighting infections in her legs she could have been upset, or have a negative outlook but she never complained and was always counting her blessings. I would ask her from time to time what she meant when she said how ‘lucky she was’? Her response was that she was so lucky to have as many visits from family and friends and so lucky for the quality of care she was receiving. We were at ease knowing Mom was so close and being taken care of so well, It was quality healthcare close to home.”
I miss seeing Mrs. Hickey every day. Her smile, especially when surrounded by her family, reinforced to me every day that quality health care, close to home, is something to be cherished and nurtured by everyone in the Mississippi Mills family.
She deserved excellent care and we can all help contribute to that excellence.
by Al Roberts, Managing Director