Amy Gagnon has delivered four babies at Peace Arch Hospital. Her first birthing experience was pretty average and normal. When her second child was born, he was diagnosed with Congenital Heart Disease called Aortic Stenois. If it weren’t for keen ears from the nurses and doctors, who picked up a murmur sound in his heart during routine vital checks, Amy and her husband would never have known of the condition until something serious happened to him. Kevin is now 11 years-old and has undergone two open-heart surgeries with more to come in the future.
Amy’s next baby was a healthy baby girl. It was a very speedy delivery, with one of the nurses having to deliver her because the baby was so quick. The birth of Amy’s last baby was eventful and one the nurses won’t soon forget. She and the baby were being closely monitored for heartbeats, movements and contractions while in labour. Suddenly, there was no heartbeat coming through the monitors. Amy had never in her life seen a team of nurses and doctors rush so quickly from all ends of the Maternity Ward. It was all hands on deck to make sure the baby was safe and Amy wasn’t in any distress. Thankfully, because of the knowledge, quick response and general instincts of the staff, her son was born with few complications. Today he is a healthy toddler!
Amy and her family are very thankful for the fantastic staff and wonderful treatment they received at Peace Arch Hospital.
A few years ago, Claire was struck by a car while walking her son to school. Whisked off to Peace Arch Hospital in an ambulance, she received great care in Emergency. “The doctors took good care of me and the nurses were marvelous,” Claire says. “I went home after surgery, almost like new, though with some extra hardware!”
Claire is a long-time volunteer with the Foundation, having served on both the Partners in Caring Gala and Great Pumpkin Run Walk steering committees. “Who knew that, I, personally, would benefit from the funds I helped to raise,” Claire says.
Peter and Molly Podovinikoff moved to South Surrey in 1995 and Peace Arch became their community hospital. Though Peter hadn't been in a hospital for 45 years, he had surgery to remove a tumour in August 2013 and stayed six days to recover.
"The nursing staff were exceptional," Peter says. "I felt very well-cared for and despite the extremely busy environment, my nurses were fantastic."
His wife, Molly, had been in and out of Peace Arch over the years and on December 8, 2013, she passed away after being admitted from Emergency.
"Molly was incapacitated and couldn't move much," Peter says. "I stayed with her throughout the day and then went home to get some sleep. I didn't know it was to be her last day. Brenda, one of the very caring nurses, called me the next morning to tell me Molly was gone."
Peter says that in Molly's final days, she received attention that was caring and sensitive; the nursing and Emergency staff were outstanding.
"When you are dealing with misery, it's wonderful to still have a positive experience," Peter says. "We're fortunate to have Peace Arch Hospital and as a community, we have to do all that we can to keep it here."
Peter made a donation to the Foundation in Molly's name, to not only honour Molly but to also recognize the excellent care that both he and Molly received from the team at Peace Arch Hospital.
On January 7, 2014, Laurie Taschuk passed out, ending up on the floor not breathing and with no detectable heartbeat. Her husband, Gordon, called 911 and was instructed to do compressions until the ambulance arrived. Within minutes, paramedics were on the scene and Laurie was taken to Peace Arch Hospital. From the moment the ambulance arrived to being treated in ER, Laurie says the paramedics, nurses and doctors were professional, empathetic, efficient and could not have been nicer.
"I was admitted to the 2nd Floor Surgical Ward among a record number of patients being discharged and admitted," Laurie said. "Throughout all of this, the nurses never once indicated they were in a rush, which is so very different from other hospitals I have been in."
Laurie said watching the staff be so kind and respectful to each other was a reflection of their commitment to patient care and a wonderful example of "living their career as a vocation."
“As the whole experience was so shocking and overwhelming to me, everyone went out of their way to treat me with the utmost compassion, kindness and empathy,” Laurie said. “Dr. Ed Chang was so very nice and thorough, and nurses Lexy and May in Emergency were wonderful, sweet people. Peace Arch Hospital truly is a place of healing, caring and nurturing."
At noon on a cold late January day, Raul Lanting dialed 911. When the ambulance arrived, the pain in his wife’s left lower abdomen was so severe her vision was blurred and she could not stand up. “It was worse than my worst labour pain. I thought I would pass out,” said Raquel, a 38-year-old mother of four.
The paramedics radioed ahead, and when the ambulance arrived at the hospital, Dr. Yoshitomi and his team were ready and waiting. “Dr. Yoshitomi used a portable ultrasound unit and it took no more than three or four seconds for him to tell me that I had an ectopic pregnancy,” she said. Raquel’s condition was serious and deteriorating fast. Within five minutes of her arrival, Raquel was moved from the emergency room to an operating room where she underwent emergency surgery. Raquel’s fallopian tube had ruptured, and she had two litres of blood in her stomach.
After a successful surgery, a blood transfusion, excellent care and the love and support of family and friends, Raquel was back at home with her family.
The Foundation purchased the portable ultrasound unit that helped save Raquel’s life.