Susan's mother, Doris is living with cancer. Here is Doris photographed with her loving grandchildren.
Susan and Doris' Story
Mother and daughter connect through nurses’ compassion at Lakeridge Health
“When my mother was admitted for cancer surgery at Lakeridge Health on March 18, things were changing so quickly. I promised her I’d be there and instead; I was waiting outside.”
Cancer diagnosis takes on new gravity during COVID-19
Like many of us, life changed abruptly for Susan and her mom, Doris, when the World Health Organization announced COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 12. Life had already taken a drastic turn for Susan and Doris this year, as Doris was diagnosed with cancer in February.
“It’s hard enough to go through this at the best of times,” shares Susan.
The day before Doris’ surgery, the Oshawa Hospital was still allowing limited visitors. When mom and daughter arrived on March 18, they found out that while Doris’ surgery was still scheduled, she suddenly had to face the surgery on her own.
“It was traumatic. We were crying. It was scary enough to go through major surgery and then, all I could do was stand outside,” Susan explained.
Compassion from nurses at Lakeridge Health Oshawa makes all of the difference
For Susan, the moment that changed her fear into hope was just after her mom entered the Hospital. A nurse approached her as she cried outside, and reassured her that ‘everything would be okay’.
“She went out of her way to connect with me,” said Susan. “She gave me her personal cell number and told me she would help my mom. Honestly, she was an angel to me in that moment. It made everything so much easier.”
While Doris had her own cellphone to keep in touch with her daughter and husband, the nurses and Lakeridge Health staff helped to make sure that Doris was able to keep connected with her family.
Virtual connections critical for families kept apart during COVID-19
“Mom was in there for fifteen days recovering. The nurses told us when she was out of surgery, and sent videos of her when she began walking again. When I saw those videos, I burst into tears. To be able to see Mom’s face and connect with her made not being there physically just a little easier. The nurses really understood how hard it is to be apart,” shared Susan.
Gratefully, Doris is now safely back at home and recovering with her family. They are all grateful for Lakeridge Health staff, with Susan explaining “of course they have been there for us since this life-changing diagnosis but now I’m even more grateful that they are here for us.”
Giving back to our nurses and Hospitals as Durham fights COVID-19
“They have so much going on right now. It’s amazing. They aren’t just caring for patients, they are caring for our community and for our family. With everything going on, they helped our family connect,” Susan says.
Lakeridge Health’s new Virtual Connections program launched this April at all five Hospital sites, allowing daughters like Susan to connect with their mothers even as visitors are restricted to help keep our community safe.
Virtual Connections program now launched because of donors
To anyone considering supporting our Hospitals as Durham fights COVID-19, Susan has this to share:
“Now, more than ever, we can see why programs like the Virtual Connections program at Lakeridge Health are so meaningful. When you’re at home and your loved one is at the Hospital, being able to connect and help them understand what is happening, and to check in on them, that helps a lot. All we can do is be grateful, and I’m grateful for our compassionate nurses, our IT teams, and anyone who is giving to our Hospitals right now.”
You too can help thank our front line heroes, and support nurses at Lakeridge Health. Create your own personal virtual fundraiser like Susan now. Or, consider donating to your local Hospital at www.durhamfightscovid19.ca