We often don’t realize how fortunate we are to have our Almonte General Hospital – providing quality care, close to home.

Thank you for making a difference for patients like me while in the hospital. Support by donors plays an important role in the quality of care we receive.

You see, in September this year, I was admitted to the Ottawa Civic Hospital for extensive spinal surgery. The five-hour operation went well but I was required to spend the next six days pretty much confined to my room in the hospital, needing two persons to support me whenever out of bed for toileting or taking my early steps.

Because elective surgeries had just started again after the latest wave of Covid-19, the Ottawa hospitals were under a lot of pressure to discharge patients in order to make room for more cases. After a week at the Civic, I was given two choices: going to a seniors’ rehabilitation facility somewhere in Ottawa, or returning to our Almonte home in the care of my 81-year-old husband, John.

Neither option was very appealing. John was already spending the better part of each day travelling back and forth from Almonte to the Civic Hospital to visit me. So going to a rehab hospital deeper into the city was uninviting. And I seriously doubted we could manage at home. I could barely get in and out of bed, let alone walk. I was still in a great deal of pain and had a large dressing on my back with dozens of staples holding my surgical wound closed.

When we discussed our dilemma with Dr. Karen Turcotte, our family physician at the Ottawa Valley Family Health Team, a third possible choice was given to us. Dr. Turcotte and Dr. Wai, my surgeon, agreed that I could receive the care that I needed at the Almonte General Hospital. That care would be supervised by Dr Turcotte and provided by the excellent staff at AGH. I could also start my rehabilitation program supported by the staff of our great in-hospital Physiotherapy Department.

So, I was “repatriated” to AGH, admitted for assessment to its Medical-Surgical ward and then, after one day, transferred to the Rosamond wing to start my recovery program.

The highly professional staff on Rosamond and my fellow patients cheered me on every day and helped me to feel secure and well. I began to get around using my walker. I started a supervised exercise program. But most importantly, that extra time in our local hospital gave me and my husband the confidence that we could handle my continuing care at home once discharged.

John and I have donated to the Almonte General Hospital Fairview Manor Foundation in the past because we’ve learned that the Ministry of Health funds the operations of the facilities but does not provide funding for new or replacement equipment.  We have always believed our hospital is vital to the viability of our community. Our experiences this fall have dramatically personalized this belief.

This year, we will be making a special gift to the AGH Fairview Manor Foundation as our way of saying thanks for the exceptional care. We invite you to do the same. We are indeed fortunate to have AGH as a key part of community. We should all recognize that fact with our own personal generosity, whatever that might be.

Thanks for your consideration,
Patricia Coderre

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