Dear Friends and Neighbours,

I received the care I needed, when I needed it, thanks to my wife and the excellent team at the Almonte General Hospital. You see, I have a heart condition known as cardiomyopathy—or to put it simply, Heart Disease.

Until a few months ago, I managed quite well with the condition, but woke up one Friday morning with a terrible coughing spell and each cough brought sharp chest pain.  Gail told me, “You better get this thing looked at,” but being a stubborn man and not wanting to take up a bed for a really sick person, I waited. Finally, the pain was too much and I agreed to go to the emergency department at the Almonte General Hospital.

I don’t think I was in emergency more than 5 minutes and they had me laying down in a bed, monitors connected and doctors making their diagnosis. I saw the number “32” on the monitor and I asked Dr. Franz Ferraris what it was. “That’s your heartbeat, but it should be around “75” beats per minute,” he said. That’s when I knew things were not right!  

But, I felt confident in the team and am particularly grateful for Dr. Ferraris’ excellent care and for Dr. Matt Tiffany’s willingness to remain in constant contact with us throughout my stay in the Emergency department – (Dr. Tiffany grew up with our youngest son, Jake. We are proud of Dr. Tiffany for becoming a physician and returning to his roots while providing excellent medical care to this community.)

It was good to be close to home when it all happened, talking to people I knew, knowing they had my best interests at heart. Right from the nurses and doctors to the paramedics, I felt my health was in good hands. 

Soon, I was in the ambulance headed to the Ottawa Heart Institute. It was a smart move to send me there because the next morning my heartrate had dropped even lower to 20 beats a minute! And I was right where I needed to be to receive my pace-maker.

After a short stay and recovery time at home, I was back in Almonte at the Ottawa Valley Family Health Team clinic (on the Hospital campus) for Cardiac Rehab which is run by a great nurse, Harriet Soudant. Harriet and her team teach me every week how to rehabilitate my heart through specialized exercise, proper nutrition and they even monitor my mental health as well.

The care I receive here is monumental in keeping me healthy and living a good quality of life—right here, close to home.

I’ve lived in Almonte for 45 years and I love this community dearly. Our hospital – the Almonte General – is close to my heart and is an important piece of the fabric that makes this community so great. 

When I needed the hospital, it was there for me. And it will be there for you, too!

Did you know that our hospital has a wide range of patient services including a state-of-the-art birthing unit and long-term care at the Fairview Manor?  And thanks to the community’s support—from donors like you and me – they have recently purchased a full range of diagnostic equipment, thanks to your past support, and have plans to acquire a CT Scanner too which helps diagnose many ailments like cancer, blood clots, heart issues and much more.

Did you know that the Ontario Government doesn’t provide funds to purchase new or replacement equipment? Our Hospital relies completely on the generosity and support of the communities it serves to provide the necessary funds to ensure staff has the best equipment with which to provide us with care.

As a grateful patient of the Almonte General Hospital I am writing to ask you to join me and make a special year-end donation – either a one time or recurring monthly donation (to be honest, the best way to help is by giving a smaller amount like $10, $15 or $20 or more each month), to help the Almonte General Hospital raise the funds needed to purchase life-saving diagnostic equipment and continue to provide excellent healthcare to you and your loved ones.

Having such great healthcare, like our Emergency Department, so close to home can make a huge difference in some cases where every minute counts. It also usually means shorter wait times in Emergency and much less travel time (instead of having to travel to a hospital in Ottawa).

Please send your special year-end gift now using the Almonte General Hospital Foundation’s secure online Donation form

From my family to yours, we wish you a very safe and Happy holiday!

Reg Gamble
Grateful Patient of the Almonte General Hospital