Inspiring Stories

Paying it forward

I have a soft spot in my heart for Queensway Carleton Hospital, and perhaps you do too.

Queensway Carleton Hospital has been providing my family with great care for many years, and that’s why I do whatever I can to support it.

I’ve been both a patient and a volunteer at QCH, and from that ‘insider’ perspective, I know what this hospital really means to our community.

So I make donations from time to time, but I’ve also included a gift in my will for Queensway Carleton Hospital.  I know it will be put to good use, and after I’m gone, it will help others get the same kind of great care my family has received.

It was a blessing to have Queensway Carleton Hospital so close to home, because there were certainly times our family needed it.  Like the parents of most active children, as our sons grew we had to make occasional visits to the Emergency Department for sprains, cuts and sports injuries.

Years later, we had to use QCH’s Emergency Department for a more serious condition, when my husband, Al, had a heart attack. Thanks to the prompt, expert care, he recovered well from that health scare, and it wasn’t long before he was back on his feet.

Unfortunately, not long after that, he was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. ALS causes nerves and muscles to deteriorate, and there is no cure.  Those were difficult times for our family, but we were always grateful for the professionalism, kindness and compassion shown by the QCH staff.

Personally I’d already experienced their wonderful care when I found myself a patient for emergency surgery. By that time, I’d been around Queensway Carleton Hospital enough to feel like part of the family.

“This hospital has been an important part of my life, and because the QCH team has been so good to me and my family, I feel it’s important to leave something for Queensway Carleton Hospital in my will.”

I’ve discussed my wishes with my sons and my lawyer, and they support my decision. In my will, I’ve taken care of my family members, and along with the other charities that are important to me, Queensway Carleton Hospital will receive a percentage of what is left over.

It won’t be a large gift, but I know it costs a lot to run a good hospital, and every bit helps.

A gift in my will is an easy way to leave something for a hospital that means a lot to me. And it feels good to know that after I’m gone, I’ll be helping other patients, young and old, who will benefit from the care they’ll get at Queensway Carleton Hospital.

Mary E. Brown, Long-time Queensway Carleton Hospital Volunteer, Patient and QCH Supporter

 


 

Why are these nurses smiling?

They’re smiling because of a gift Annie Bradley left in her will for the training of staff at Queensway Carleton Hospital. Generations of the Bradley family had already established deep roots in Nepean and Stittsville when Ernest Albert Bradley took over a Holstein farm not far from where Queensway Carleton Hospital stands today.  Ernest was in his mid-forties when he met Annie, a school teacher, who gave up her teaching career to join him as his wife and farming partner.  They spent many years working side by side until they sold the farm and retired to West Ottawa in the 1970’s.

Following Ernest’s death, and then Annie’s a few years later in 1994, their bequest for QCH became a reality. From her years teaching, Annie knew that high-quality patient care was only possible when staff were constantly learning, and keeping up-to-date with the latest research and best practices.

There’s no government funding for advanced training for hospital staff, and for some, the cost of courses and workshops can be a real financial burden.  That’s why, after planning gifts in her will for family and loved ones, Annie chose to leave a portion of what was left for Queensway Carleton Hospital.

Her gift is still helping staff – and patients – today! Last year, thanks to Annie’s bequest, ten QCH nurses were able to update their skills through courses in Critical Care Nursing, Fracture Management, Perioperative Nursing and Geriatrics.

 


A lasting gift for patient care

John came from humble beginnings.  At the age of 18 he arrived from Poland with only pennies in his pocket, unable to read, write, or speak a word of English.

But he was ready to work hard, and make a life for himself.  He started, as other strong young men did in those days, working on an Ottawa Valley farm for only $1 a day.

John loved to cook, and he loved people, so it was only natural that when opportunity knocked, he chose paths that led from growing food to preparing and serving it to appreciative guests.  Eventually, his hard work, talent, charm and some luck enabled him to land the role of Executive Chef at the Royal Bank of Canada, serving meals to clients, executives and dignitaries.

When he retired, John enjoyed having more time to tend the flowers in his garden, and golf with his wife, Joan, a retired school teacher.  But he wanted to share his love of cooking, and be of service to the community where he had enjoyed a happy and successful life.  Because everyone needs a hospital at some point in life, John knew he could help many people by volunteering to run the coffee shop at Queensway Carleton Hospital.

If you ordered a fresh sandwich, crisp salad or savoury soup at the QCH coffee shop in the 1990s, John was the one behind the counter making sure everything was just right.  With a team of volunteers, he served up every meal with a smile or laugh that kept QCH staff and visitors coming back for more. For John, QCH volunteers and staff were like family, and the hospital “felt like home”.

Years later, when the new Acute Care of the Elderly (ACE) Unit was under construction at QCH, John and Joan didn’t hesitate to make a gift for its completion.  It was their way of giving back to the hospital that meant so much to them.  John passed away in 2015 and through his will, he built on his earlier contribution with another gift for the ACE Unit.

For years to come, thousands of elderly patients will benefit from the Unit’s comfortable facilities, up-to-date technology and specialized care made possible in part by John and Joan’s kindness and generosity.


David’s tribute to his parents is insurance for tomorrow’s care

When David Silverman brought his mother, Donna Waserman, to the Queensway Carleton Hospital’s Emergency Department in November, 2014, he never imagined she would be spending the next 18 days in the Intensive Care Unit. She’d battled a bad cough for days, and was now hallucinating and barely able to breathe. Donna’s condition seemed to be worsening by the hour.

Within a short time, she was in QCH’s ICU, connected to a respirator, IV lines and a vital signs monitor. Medication was administered, tests run, and doctors and nurses consulted with each other to determine the best course of treatment.

“Day-after-day the ICU team – Dr. Majewski, Dr. Iyengar, Dr. Marovac, nurses Ruth, Arden and Mark, and so many more — worked tirelessly to help mom.  I was grateful to have so many people care so much”, says David.  Their vigilant, round- the-clock care continued for the next two weeks until Donna was able to breathe on her own, and the infection that had attacked her lungs began to clear.

David was very relieved and very grateful.  “I suspect that each of them would say they were just doing their job, but they left a meaningful impression upon me and my family.  Their medical knowledge and expertise was first class, and it was their care, compassion, and love that went far beyond just ‘doing their job’.”

David decided to recognize staff who helped care for his mom by making Champions of Care donations to the Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation. Each nurse received a personal thank you messages from David, and a Champion of Care pin.  “They were so honoured to hear David’s thanks, and have Champion’s pins attached to their lanyards in front of their peers”, says Nancy Crump, who manages the Champions of Care Program.

David was grateful for this opportunity to express his appreciation to the staff, but he also wanted to do something for other patients like his mom.

After speaking with Nadine Fowler in the QCH Foundation, and his insurance agent, David decided he would purchase a life insurance policy and name the Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation as the owner and beneficiary.

“I mulled over all of the ways I could donate and saw that I could use life insurance to turn my annual donation dollars into a gift that would have much greater future impact  on the hospital and patients”, explains David.  “I couldn’t make a large donation today, but I knew I could afford the annual premiums and would receive a charitable donation tax receipt for each premium payment.”

Once David made the decision to purchase a new life insurance policy the next steps were easy.  “My insurance agent completed all the paperwork, and worked with the QCH Foundation to have them named as the owner and beneficiary of the policy.  It was exceptionally simple”, says David.

While the life insurance policy was being finalized, David kept it a secret from his mom.  When the paperwork was done, he told her she needed to go with him for a follow-up appointment at Queensway Carleton Hospital.  Truth was he was bringing her to a surprise celebration in the hospital’s Discovery Room.  Arranged with the help of QCH Foundation staff, Donna’s family and friends, her doctors and nurses were already there, ready to celebrate her good health, and the announcement of David’s gift.

“There were some tears of joy and gratitude that day”, says Nadine Fowler, who helped with the gift and the surprise party.  “I’ll never forget the look on Donna’s face when she walked into the room.  And how touched she was to learn that when the proceeds from David’s policy are received, they will establish the Donna and Steve Waserman Tribute Fund, to honour her and her late husband.  It was a very special moment.”

“It started with me wanting to do something meaningful to help others”, says David, “but it grew, quite unexpectedly, into an opportunity to honour both my mom, and my dad, who, sadly, passed away in October, 2008.  I’m so glad I can pay tribute to them both this way.”

The Donna and Steve Waserman Tribute Fund will be spent down over a period of 5 years, and will support care for patients in QCH’s Intensive Care Unit, and Acute Care of the Elderly Unit.  David’s gift will touch the lives of many of tomorrow’s patients, helping ensure they get the same kind of expert care that saved his mother’s life.


 

Need more information? 

Please contact Nadine Fowler, Major and Planned Giving Associate, Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation at nfowler@qch.on.ca , 613.721.4700 ext. 5609.