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Donor Story

Sally’s Story

“I remember Dr. Callow said to me ‘you are too young, and we’ll do everything we can’. I truly feel he saved my life.”

In the fall of 2017, Sally, a long-time resident of the Durham Region, began to feel unwell. Her symptoms began slowly, with mild hives and shortness of breath. After a long night, exhausting night, took an early morning taxi to Lakeridge Health’s Oshawa Hospital. As staff found nothing immediately wrong with her, Sally was given some sedatives and sent home. Just a few hours later, Sally knew she had to return to the emergency room.

She called an ambulance and was rushed back to the Hospital. After some more testing, and a CT scan, Sally learned she there were clots in her lungs and that she may have suffered a minor heart attack. The emergency staff called her son, George, who lives in the United States, as her daughter, Carole, was on vacation in Curacao. Sally remembers that moment. As the staff made long distance calls to her family, Sally realized the severity of her condition.

When things looked desperate, that was when Sally felt most reassured. While still feeling quite ill, Sally recalls feeling calmed by a young nurse who came back to see her, even on her day off. The doctor attending her, Dr. John Callow, held her hand and assured her “with certainty” that she would be okay.

Sally was given two injections and brought to another part of the hospital to stay overnight. While it was strange and confusing at times, she laughs, remembering it as a ‘delightful stay’. All of the nurses, and Dr. Callow, continued to care for her, and, she noticed, the other patients, with true devotion and kindness.

“I’m someone who likes to observe,” Sally shares. “There was a lot to observe over that weekend at the Hospital and it was impossible not to notice the devotion [the staff] had to myself and the others with me that weekend. I love life and I truly love those who devote so many hours, with humility and patience, to the preservation of it.”

Sally was able to stay thank you to Dr. Callow, and to the staff team at Lakeridge Health that cared for her, through Lakeridge Health Foundation’s Circle of Gratitude program. Sally remembers the care her late, beloved husband, Carl, received at Lakeridge Health during his many visits, and after the care she received, she really felt it was time to honour the health care team at Lakeridge Health.

Today, Sally is feeling much better, and grateful for every day. Here she is photographed with her daughter, Carole, granddaughter, Anara, and son, George.

You too can honour the medical staff and teams at Lakeridge Health that cared for you, or your family today.

Learn more about the Circle of Gratitude program today.