For the past three months, John has been sleeping in his recliner chair.
That’s because John finds it hard to breathe when he lies flat. But that’s only part of what brings the 62-year-old to the Emergency Department at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH).
“My quality of life is terrible. In fact, I barely have a life at all,” John explains. “I can’t walk more than a few steps without gasping for air. I’m tired all the time and have zero energy.”
John has been diagnosed with heart failure and was admitted to Cardiology where our team works around the clock to care for him. We evaluate him every day and carefully adjust his medications until we find the right combination to make John’s heart better.
There was relief in John’s eyes when I told him he can expect to see improvements to his quality of life. “Thank you,” he said. “You have no idea how much that means to me.”
As a Cardiology Nurse Practitioner, I do understand and it’s one of the reasons I’m so thankful to work at OTMH. It’s a privilege to look after people like John when they’re as sick as they are. And, to have the support of caring supporters like you, helping us every step of the way.
I’m sincerely grateful for your ongoing support. Your generosity helps provide the equipment we need to deliver the high quality care patients like John depend on. It means we can invest in the latest technology to make hearts, lives and patients better.
Today, I hope you’ll find it in your own heart to increase your support. Your special gift will benefit cardiology patients like John by helping to fund the much-needed expansion and upgrades to our pharmacy and medication delivery system.
When it comes to providing exceptional care to patients in Cardiology, our pharmacy plays an essential role. The patients we see are made better with medication. And now, more than ever before, there are new medications available that can have life altering effects. But it can take a while to find the right combination of meds to help someone like John and give them their life back.
That’s why I’m so excited about the improvements we’re making to OTMH’s medication delivery system that is a crucial part of patient care. The system gives nurses access to an Automated Dispensing Unit (ADU) that is highly reliable and default safety checked to ensure the right medications go to the right patient at the right time.
Expansion of the system couldn’t come at a better time. The number of doses dispensed by the pharmacy has doubled in the last few years. We need this measure of efficiency to maintain the high level of safety we absolutely insist upon in Cardiology and throughout the hospital.
So, what does the expanded system mean for John and the other 35 cardiology patients our team treats and cares for every day?
For patients with heart failure, it means safe, efficient and fast access to medication. It means my colleagues and I can quickly refer to a patient’s electronic health record while we work to find the right balance of medications. It means someone like John can go home to their family as fast as possible.
It takes a while to find the perfect combination of medications to make John’s heart better. But once we do, his symptoms improve dramatically. Soon he’s out of bed and walking our halls without once having to stop to catch his breath.
“I haven’t felt this good in a long time,” John admits on his last day with us. “I can’t wait to get home, work in the garden and take my dog for a walk. I can’t wait to start living again.”
Even as I wish John well, I know his relationship with OTMH isn’t over. We’ll continue to follow-up with him regularly, tweaking his medication as needed. He’ll always have access to the leading edge care he needs close to home thanks to caring supporters like you.
Everything we do in Cardiology is about meeting our goal of making our patients better. I know it’s the same for my colleagues in every area of our hospital. As a donor and community member, I think you’d be very proud if you could witness the compassion and innovation I see here every day.
You make it all possible with your support. You give us the tools we need to save and improve lives. After all, the government doesn’t fund vital equipment or the improvements we’re making to our medication delivery system. For that we count on the generosity of thoughtful friends like you.
Please send your most generous gift in support of our medication system expansion today. It is indeed a privilege to care for your family, friends and neighbours. It means the world to know you’re there for us with your generosity, making sure we can do it to the best of our ability.
Eileen McDonald Karcz
Cardiology Nurse Practitioner
Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital
P.S. Making hearts and lives better begins with your support. Please give today and help ensure we have everything we need to take the best care of those in urgent need. Thank you.