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Trauma patient Bryce Black sits outdoors, playing the guitar.
Bryce Black played guitar for 35 years, then lost the ability overnight after being in a car accident. He spends one hour a day teaching himself to play.
May 16, 2022

Trauma patient sends gratitude to HGH team

Milton resident Bryce Black arrived at Hamilton General Hospital (HGH) by ambulance last July after a horrific single-vehicle crash.

His long list of injuries included shattered eye sockets, cheek bones, nose and jaw. He also suffered a broken shoulder, cracked ribs, crushed pelvis and a head injury that left him with an acquired brain injury.

“I still can’t remember anything from that day,” says Black, 51, of Campbellville, who spent two weeks in a coma.

Black still doesn’t know what caused him to drive off the road and slam into a tree. “No one knows. To this day it’s a mystery.”

Giving thanks

But what Black does remember, and wants to share, is overwhelming gratitude to the Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) physicians, nurses and other staff who cared for him.

“Thank you wholeheartedly.” — Bryce Black, HHS patient

A man stands outside, wearing a blue golf shirt and black baseball cap

Bryce Black

“I know that I received exceptional care based on the stories that my wife and friends shared with me,” says Black, who reached out to the hospital by email to say thank you.

“I want to take this opportunity to express my utmost gratitude to everyone at Hamilton General Hospital. I’m so grateful to everyone — from the surgeons that pieced me back together, to the amazing nurses in the ICU, and to everyone and anyone else that gave me the care, assistance and opportunity of writing this letter today.”

“We really appreciate Bryce taking the time to share his HHS experience…” — Dawn Sidenberg, manager, HHS patient experience

Dawn Sidenberg is the manager of the HHS patient experience department, which receives feedback from patients about their hospital experience, from compliments to concerns.

Head and shoulders photo of Dawn Sidenberg, wearing a black blazer and white shirt

Dawn Sidenberg, manager of HHS patient experience

“We really appreciate Bryce taking the time to share his HHS experience with our health-care providers,” says Sidenberg. “It’s an important reminder that what our teams do as part of their everyday work has a profound impact on our patients and their families. Whether patients have a compliment, concern or suggestion, their input helps us to constantly improve the way we deliver care.”

Black says he can’t remember the names or faces of the staff who treated him. “But I will never forget them. These are the people that saved my life. I just wish and hope that someday I can thank them personally. I know that I could never repay these people, but it is my wish that I can somehow pass along their importance not only to me and my family, but to the entire community that they have chosen to serve.”

Building back

Black worked as a warehouse manager before the accident. He hasn’t been able to return to work, and is instead focusing on rehabilitation to build back his strength and memory.

“Currently I am walking with just a cane, enjoying the many things I took for granted prior to my accident,” he says.

Before the crash, Black’s pastimes included music. “I played the guitar for 35 years, then overnight because of the accident I forgot how to play.” He now dedicates one hour a day to re-learning the guitar, but it’s a slow process.

Staying motivated by remembering his HGH team

He also takes physiotherapy in his community to improve his physical skills. Gains have come slowly, but he’s motivated by his HGH experience to keep pushing.

“Rehab has been difficult at times, but I owe it to the people that saved my life to continue going forward and honour each of them every day by doing good in their unknown names,” he says. “Thank you wholeheartedly. It is without a doubt, that without these people I would not be here today.”