Patient Stories

Stories from Grateful Patients

Listen to your neighbours: incredible work is being done in Dunnville. Read some incredible stories from people who’s lives have been positively impacted by the Haldimand War Memorial Hospital and Edgewater Gardens Long-Term Care Centre.

It’s a call everyone dreads: “Hello, Dawn, your husband has been in an accident.”

Dawn and Kim Turnbull owe their lives to quick actions at HWMH.

28 years ago, working the family farm, my husband Kim’s foot was caught in a piece of equipment. Losing blood, he was at risk of losing his life. Rushed to the Haldimand War Memorial Hospital, he lost his foot but his life was saved! Because the Hospital was close to home, Kim is alive today. And as lively as ever!

I’m thankful that, as a rural hospital, HWMH was equipped to treat these very kinds of life-threatening injuries that happen when you least expect them but need help the most.

Now, you might be wondering why I’m writing you this letter, not Kim. It’s because I also have a personal story about the HWMH to share…

Last year, on Christmas Eve, I went to have my annual mammogram done at HWMH. A few days later, I was asked to return – something didn’t look right; the radiologist wanted to take a second look. Another mammogram was ordered and an ultrasound, just to be certain.

Another call followed. It was my worst fear: I had breast cancer.

I was able to fight my cancer because of the thoroughness of the healthcare teams at the HWMH.

But the frontline healthcare providers we depend on, are now depending on you.

I walked into the Emerg and said
“I think I’m having a heart attack”

Lisa Hribar’s life was saved by fast action at HWMH

In 2018, I had a heart attack. It couldn’t have come at a worse time.

It was nearing the end of Smile Cookie week, and I was working night and day at Tim Hortons. I was committed to putting as many smiles on people’s faces as I could because the proceeds from the cookies would benefit our local Haldimand War Memorial Hospital and that was my goal. We did it: we sold more than 22,700 cookies… far more than any other Tims in the country!

But the stress of the campaign to be number one in Canada was more than I expected. On Saturday, the stress hit me like a truck. I felt heart palpitations and dizzy. But I worked through it.

Things only got worse. I couldn’t pinpoint what was happening. I thought I had indigestion and nothing I did was helping! I couldn’t stand or sit I needed to take a break.

That evening after being home for a while it wasn’t getting better. I chewed two aspirins and that didn’t make a difference. Now I really knew I needed help. Instead of calling 9-1-1, I drove the 20 minutes to the emergency room in the middle of the night. Yes, I should have called for help, but I wasn’t thinking straight, and the hospital was so, soooooo close.

I can’t stress enough how important having a hospital like the Haldimand War Memorial Hospital is. Having a hospital nearby saved my life. It could save yours, too.

What happened next happens in so many small community hospitals like ours – the doctor and nurses immediately flew into action. They were committed to finding out what was wrong with me, and fast. There wasn’t a moment to spare! An EKG test revealed that I was having a heart attack! The doctor and nurses stabilized me and then an ambulance rushed me to Hamilton General for more advanced care. I know the quick actions of the HWMH care team saved my life.

An image of Lisa, who's life was saved by quick-thinking at HWMH

I can’t stress enough how important having a hospital like the Haldimand War Memorial Hospital is.

Having a hospital nearby saved my life. It could save yours, too.

I only had a ten percent chance of survival. It is truly a miracle that I am still alive.

David Dawson shares his story of surviving a massive stroke.

I could hear myself slurring my words as I talked to Mom on the phone. Something wasn’t right. As I hung up and sat down on the couch, everything familiar was gone. There was a burst of colour, and then, nothing.

When I woke up, desperately gasping for air, my immediate thought was to phone my wife, Brenda. It took several attempts. I had lost most of the use of my arms and hands and my vision was blurred. She called the ambulance, and I was rushed to Haldimand War Memorial Hospital. I had had a stroke.

What happened next is the reason I can write this letter to you today.

I believe without a doubt that emergency room physician Dr. Jeffrey Remington was instrumental in saving my life that day. He took one look at me when I arrived at HWMH and acted quickly. Satisfied that I had been stabilized, he transferred me to the regional stroke centre in Hamilton where they were briefed and waiting for me.

A photo of David smiling in front of his home.

It has been over two years since I had my massive stroke. I was recovering at home when the magnitude of what happened hit me.

I understand now that there could have been an entirely different outcome if we didn’t have our amazing hospital right here.

Inspired to give? Your gifts matter!

If you have a Grateful Patient story, please Contact Us so that we can hear it. Or, make a Grateful Patient gift from yourself or on behalf of a loved one. It’s because of you that we’re able to offer such great health care close to home.

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