My name is Vivienne and I am ten years old. I live in Mono and I go to Orangeville Christian School. I want to share with you my experiences with Headwaters Health Care Centre and why supporting our hospital matters.
I was born at Headwaters along with my two brothers and my younger sister. Obviously, I don’t remember my own birth but I do remember the excitement of going to the hospital with my Dad and my big brother and meeting my new brother, and then my new sister a year later. I loved going to the waiting room filled the kids’ games and books. Everyone was happy and excited and of course I was happy to see my mom!
A few years ago I visited my great-grandpa several times because he was dying. My parents, my siblings and I would walk down the long hall to his room, often saying hello to familiar faces along the way, to spend a few minutes with him as often as we could. I loved that we could go anytime, day or night. Apparently some hospitals have “visiting hours” but I like that we could go whenever we wanted. The nurses were always caring towards my great-grandpa and to us. My great-grandpa was content and grateful at the hospital but I know he would have preferred not to be there. Who wants to stay in a hospital? It was near Christmas and it was very sad to know he wouldn’t leave the hospital but I was thankful for the Christmas decorations in his room, the big window by his bed and that he was surrounded by family.
There are other times my family has needed Headwaters. My dad broke his collarbone and my mom had a kidney stone. Both times we needed to get help fast and we were glad the hospital was nearby. My younger brother has had ear infections and once got a fish hook stuck in his hand. He seems to need the Emergency department more often than the rest of us. My grandpa had to stay at the hospital for a few nights because he had an infection. He was well taken care of and we were glad when he came home. It can be scary when you don’t know what is wrong and someone you love is in pain or is hurt. And the thing is, you never know when that might be.
I’ve even had my own experiences at the hospital like when I had my tonsils out. I was a bit nervous when I went with my mom for my surgery but my older brother said it wouldn’t be painful. I don’t remember much about that day since I slept most of the time but I do remember after I woke up everyone was very kind and I had a warm, comfy blanket over me. I loved the popsicles the nurses gave me - they were the “good” kind.
I also went to Headwaters another time not because I was sick but because I dressed up with a few other people in Star Wars costumes. We visited patients in their rooms and made people happy and surprised a few I think!
I go to the hospital a few times a year, often with my mom or my grandpa since they both volunteer at Headwaters Health Care Foundation. In fact I would say my whole family supports the hospital and uses the hospital in one way or another. My aunt works there, my little sister went to the plant sale with our nana there, my cousin had a baby there, we visit friends that are sick there, my older brother just recently had his adenoids out there - the more I think about it... the hospital is very important.
I know I am only 10 but I have figured out that big moments in life can often happen at our hospital…people are born there, people get sick or hurt and need help and it can change their whole world, and people can even pass away there, like my great-grandpa. It really matters how we take care of each other…whether it is a person’s first few hours of life or their last few hours, it’s important that they know they matter and are loved. I am so glad we have a hospital that really cares about people.
Headwaters Health Care Centre is very much a part of our community. It has a huge impact on people’s lives and I can’t imagine if we didn’t have a hospital close by or if it didn’t have good nurses and doctors and good equipment. I know hospitals need money and it is important, but I didn’t understand why until recently. My parents and grandparents explained to me that the government does not pay for any equipment at hospitals. Every piece of equipment comes from donations that people in our community give. Every wheelchair and bed is at Headwaters because someone cared enough to give their money to the hospital. Wow! A lot of good and generous people have made Headwaters Health Care Centre what it is today. I am so grateful, but I am also aware that the hospital truly needs support. What is a hospital without equipment? I just recently sponsored my brother $10 in the Tour de Headwaters. I wish I had more money to give. Even though I couldn’t give more money to my brother showed me that when lots of people give what they can it really adds up…he ended up raising more than $1,000. Very cool!
If you are able to give to Headwaters Foundation during this giving season, there is a really good reason to do so right now. Hopefully we can raise lots of money for equipment the hospital needs, like bassinets for babies born here and special LED lights for the operating rooms and safety lights for the helicopter landing pad. Only a community can make all this happen. Someone in our community is going to need this equipment and I want it to be at Headwaters when they do. Each one of us matter and we need the best care we can give to one another.
I’m really excited I get to be a part of this fundraising effort and I hope you will be too! My grandparents are quoted in the hospital lobby saying that “The blessing of a healthy heart comes from generously sowing your time and treasure.” I think they are pretty wise people. I hope we all have healthy hearts. A very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa to each and everyone of you.
ps - The Galt Family Foundation is matching, dollar-for-dollar, every gift make in response to my letter (Between November 1 and December 31) up to $180,000.