Story by Kerri Robins
LEDUC — When Richard Cook visited his critically ill mother in the Leduc Community Hospital, there was little “breathing room”.
“We spent a week at the hospital with my mother after she lapsed into a coma resulting from a bacterial infection,” says the 61yearold Edmontonian. “There really wasn’t space for my sister and I, so we shared the room with my mother in rather tight quarters.”
That’s why the Cook family has gifted a total of $13,500 to the Black Gold Health Foundation since March 2014 in memory of their mother.
Their donation — added to a fundraising tally of $200,000 started by the foundation back in the fall of 2011 — has resulted in renovations to four rooms and two lounges at the hospital.
The rooms were transformed into suites that can accommodate one patient and up to four family members. New paint, new furniture, draperies, linens, flat-screen TVs and wall art have created more comfortable spaces, with an atmosphere of family-centred care, to give families the privacy and togetherness they need at critical life moments.
“The staff did everything they could to keep us comfortable and make us feel at home,” says Cook. “I’m happy people can make use of the suites because they help with coping mechanisms and mitigate or eliminate travel.”
Teresa Mark-Redhead, manager of inpatient service at Leduc Community Hospital, says she’s thrilled with the new spaces.
“People have a heightened sense of awareness when faced with critical times in their lives,” says Mark-Redhead, a registered nurse.
“The rooms take the ‘institutional’ feel out of the situation and create a feeling of normalcy for families. They let families be families at the time they need it most.”
While the rooms are mostly used for those in end-of-life care, they can also be used for patients who require a hospital stay for certain periods of time. “
The rooms allow for family and friends to visit comfortably without hearing hospital noises and distractions,” says Mark-Redhead. “Families need to spend their time together during health crises — and it’s great to be able to provide a safe space where they can bond and socialize in as normal a family atmosphere as possible.”
Brenda Dodman, past Board Chair of the Black Gold Health Foundation, says she’s also pleased with the renovations.
“The hospital stresses family-centred care and we are happy to be able to provide the spaces it needs to help its patients and families be together,” says Dodman. “It’s a great improvement to an already healthy environment, and our community is outstanding in supporting these important spaces and programs.”
For more information, visit www.blackgoldhealthfoundation.com.
Pictured: Mary Cook, left, shown here with daughter Wendy Cook, spent a week in the Leduc Community Hospital after she lapsed into a coma. In appreciation of the care she received, her family has donated a total of $13,500 to help refurbish four family suites and two patient lounges. Photo courtesy Richard Cook.