A long road walked together

Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patient David Baker with his wife, Glenda.

After 49 days in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) without being able to talk, David Baker’s first words were to his wife, Glenda…“I love you.”

Here is their story.

David and Glenda Baker came to Queensway Carleton Hospital (QCH), where David was admitted through emergency with a life-threatening illness. After that, David remained at QCH for 76 days. 

“When you’re in ICU, that can be a very scary place because, you know, you don’t go to ICU unless you’re a very, very sick person,” Glenda says.

And it was for that reason that Glenda was so appreciative of the timely updates she received in a time of great anxiety. Glenda said she and the family were always informed about David’s situation and treatments and never felt like they were asking too many questions. They were always welcomed and made comfortable no matter where they found themselves at QCH — Emergency, ICU, Medicine and Rehab.

The Bakers were treated by many hospital staff; doctors, nurses, administrative clerks, physiotherapists, speech-language pathologists all worked hard to make sure the Bakers received the most compassionate care.

Never once did they feel as though they were an aggravation, shared Glenda. In fact, she said it was quite the opposite.

On more than one occasion staff shared tears when Glenda received hard news.  And on other occasions staff enjoyed the joy of good news and steps of progress. It was in those moments that staff left such an impact on the family.

Glenda feels there are many names to thank. And while she was hesitant to list names, conscious of the fact that there were far too many to recall, one nurse in particular made an impression that the Bakers will never forget — Nurse Campbell in the ICU.

“My husband was on blood thinners while in ICU,” recounted Glenda. “[Campbell] took it upon himself to make sure my husband was shaved. And that meant an awful lot to our family, for the kids, to come in and see their father taken care of.”

Glenda went on. “After David had the tracheal tube put in… Campbell worked with him and got him to be able to say ‘I love you’ for when I arrived at the hospital. It’s not easy. He hadn’t talked in over a month after 49 days in ICU. The first words I heard him say, were, ‘I love you’.”

For the Bakers, QCH staff were not simply a support, they became part of the journey, the care and compassion unwavering every step of the way.

Dr. Iyengar was David’s main doctor in ICU. Glenda commended him and Dr. Alikhan for their kindness and support. Many other staff and doctors visited the couple in ICU and on the medical floor, and made sure they received all the care and support they needed. 

It was a long stay — with times of grief and great concern. But the Baker’s say they will never forget the compassionate and hard-working teams in Emergency, ICU, Medicine Inpatient Unit and the Rehabilitation Unit.

In and amongst the daily routines of patient care, QCH staff left their mark on the Baker family. It was the big things and the little things, and everything in between.