Celebrating our physicians on Doctors’ Day
May 1 is Doctors’ Day in Canada. It is a day in which we celebrate the remarkable contributions physicians have made to patients, their families and the community. This has been an extraordinary year with unprecedented pressures and despite these challenges, frontline heroes continue to step up to the plate and provide patient-centred and compassionate care. As a thank you to Hamilton Health Sciences physicians, patients are sharing stories about the impact their physicians have had on them and their families.
Thank you to Doctors at McMaster Children’s Hospital
By Gianna Mazzocato
My four-year-old daughter Anna is a patient at McMaster Children’s Hospital and the Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre. She is a happy child who loves spending time with her dad and I, her little brother Luca, her Nonna, and her dog Sully. She loves to sing and dance, ride her tricycle, and play with her dollhouse. She enjoys going to preschool with her friends. Anna also has Down syndrome, but the condition doesn’t define her.
Anna’s pediatrician, Dr. MacNay, has provided comprehensive and compassionate care from the beginning to Anna and our family. He is a phenomenal example of what providing patient- and family-centred care is all about. However, there are other outstanding physicians who care for Anna and have been with my husband and I through this journey.
Pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Bassilious sees Anna as a whole person and a person first. Her kind and compassionate nature penetrates her practice. As a mother, I am incredibly grateful knowing Anna is taken care of by Dr. Bassilious and her team. Dr. Bassilious’ constancy and her consistency in Anna’s care over the years is something my husband and I have relied on as parents.
Additionally, Dr. Korman, Anna’s ENT physician, and his team of audiologists, have truly supported in fostering Anna’s development. Hearing is a sensory gateway for development and we are thankful for the time he takes at every assessment in helping ensure she has the best opportunity to hear. He does so in a manner that feels thorough and comprehensive.
Finally, I would be remiss if I did not thank Anna’s cardiologist, Dr. Dragos Predescu. From early days to now, Dr. Predescu has had a grounding and honest approach that helped Anna and our family maintain calmness in incredibly stressful times. Any parent of a ‘heart baby’ knows that the worry for their child’s health never goes away, even when cardiac stability arrives. Having Dr. Predescu’s ongoing follow-up and calm resolve is a powerful support for my husband and I.
Thank you to Doctors at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre and St. Peter’s Hospital
By Kim Savas
I remember the day Dr. Hirte met with my husband and I at Juravinski Cancer Centre to deliver the worst news that anyone could imagine. I remember the pastel golf shirt he was wearing, and his gentle, kind manner. “Dan, you have Stage 4 brain cancer.” Our world was torn apart, but for the next three years, Dr. Hirte and Dr. Greenspoon were with Dan through many rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. They provided excellent care, treating our family with respect, dignity and compassion.
When Dr. Hirte had to tell us that Dan’s cancer was back and there were no more treatments available, I remember him sitting close to Dan, on his hospital bed. He delivered this horrible news in a way that was not rushed, showing the utmost care for my husband.
Dr. Jessica Waserman of the Juravinski Supportive Care team was wonderful for me personally. She helped me to be strong for Dan and for my kids. She helped me to try and make sense of this new normal. She provided a safe place for me on this journey.
Dan was later admitted to the palliative care unit at St. Peter’s Hospital and received excellent care from Dr. Adrienne Selbie. She was always on top of his complex medical needs. On the day of Dan’s death, Dr. Selbie stayed close by, there for our family if needed. She provides wonderful care to those in the final stages of their lives, yet always had a minute to touch base, and show her care.
My children, Dan’s family, and I are forever grateful for the holistic, compassionate and exceptional care Dan received from his physician team throughout his illness. We always felt cared for as well. This is truly a gift we will always be grateful for.
Thank you to Doctors at Hamilton General Hospital
By Tim O’Sullivan
I’m in my mid-60s, have always had a high metabolism and run 5 km four times a week. I run because I genuinely enjoy it but like so many of us, I also want to work off any extra calories from red wine and chocolate! In the early hours one Monday morning, I began experiencing some discomfort in my chest. I chalked it up to being heartburn or indigestion, took an antacid and went back to bed. However, at 7 a.m. when the discomfort turned to pain, my wife Liz, a retired nurse, knew what was happening. She immediately gave me an aspirin and called 9-1-1.
When I went to Hamilton General Hospital (HGH), I was assessed by Dr. Ira Price. After reading my EKG report and bloodwork, he knew what had happened. Dr. Price told me that I had experienced a myocardial infarction or a heart attack. I was in disbelief that I, someone who is an avid runner and generally healthy person, had a heart attack. Dr. Price could tell that I was in shock over what was happening in my body. He was very calm and reassuring and explained that I would need to stay overnight and have an angiogram in the morning.
The next morning, I went to the Heart Investigation Unit at HGH. Dr. Jolly met with me and explained the procedure. I have a phobia of needles and blood so my anxiety was naturally heightened after hearing about the heart catheter Dr. Jolly would be putting in. Dr. Jolly recognized this and was extremely professional and supportive. Dr. Jolly’s expertise discovered that I needed two stents put in due to two clogged arteries.
Despite the unprecedented times we are in and the increased pressures and strains on our healthcare system, Drs. Jolly and Price thoroughly, accurately and compassionately cared for me. Not being able to have my wife with me for these procedures was challenging. The doctors recognized that and always tried to put me at ease. It is because of their superb care that the outcome of my discomfort that early morning was not fatal. I am extremely grateful to both doctors for caring for me.
Thank you to Doctors at West Lincoln Memorial Hospital
By Doreen Swift
Dr. Grice of the West Lincoln Memorial Hospital’s (WLMH) Emergency Department is a cool, calm, collected saving grace for me. I went to WLMH with chest pain and discomfort. I was unsure of what the problem could be but Dr. Grice had a pretty good idea – a pulmonary embolism.
Through Dr. Grice’s expertise, I was able to get the necessary care needed to eliminate the clot in my lung. With the COVID-19 pandemic raging on, I was nervous about being in a hospital and did not completely understand what was happening in my lung. Dr. Grice calmly and thoroughly explained everything and put me at ease. Dr. Grice’s reassurance and professionalism is so appreciated.
The next day, Dr. Eikelboom treated me for the pulmonary embolism. Dr. Eikelboom went so far as calling the pharmacy for the prescription. The pharmacy was closing shortly and Dr. Eikelboom wanted to ensure I was able to get the medication needed. Dr. Eikelboom’s thoroughness in my treatment as well as his kindness and compassion is something which I will never forget.
Similarly, my husband John has been a patient at WLMH over the years. He suffered a heart attack a number of years ago and has had various pacemaker procedures performed since. John has a team of physicians who support his care plan. The team is headed up by the incredible Dr. Bellaire. John has great respect for Dr. Bellaire and the wonderful care and commitment she provides. John and I are immensely thankful to Dr. Bellaire and team for all of their support over the years.