Shelly’s Story

It’s said that angels walk among us. This is Shelly’s Story.

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It’s said that angels walk among us, and it doesn’t always have to take a life-or-death situation to experience them.
 
Sometimes in our walk through life, we come across situations where we need a kind heart and a willing hand to help us through our day. I like to call these our “Everyday Angels”, and luckily, I know just where to find them: at Headwaters Health Care Centre.
 
When my husband, Sully, and I were expecting our third child, we decided we wanted to move out of the city. Part of that was necessity – three children can put a strain on any city household – and part of it was wanting to raise our children in a close-knit community. The kind of place where everybody knows each other, and cares about each other.
 
We moved to Orangeville just over a year ago, and it seems fate had its own plans to force us into that community. Since moving here, I’ve had to make three trips to Headwaters – all for very different reasons.
 
There was the time our toddler, Karine, had removed the heating vent cover in our new house and then my eldest, Cordelia, slipped and cut her leg on the exposed metal. Blood-curdling screams aside, I thought it was just a superficial scratch, and nothing my motherhood band-aid skills couldn’t fix. But then I looked closer, and realized that Cordelia had a three-inch gash on her foot – and there was a lot of blood!

So, I cleaned her up as best I could, packed up the two girls in anticipation of a very long day in the E.R. and drove straight to Headwaters.Isn’t it a little strange, what you end up remembering? I remember the time: 9:30am. I remember how easy and close the parking was. I remember the volunteer who met us just inside the doors, and who walked with us to Emergency. I remember the Triage Nurse who spoke kindly and directly to Cordelia, treating my then two-and-a-half year-old daughter like a grown-up.
 
Actually, everybody – from the volunteer, to the nurse, to the physician – talked and explained everything not just to me, but to Cordelia as well. We were even involved in the treatment decision; something that I’d never experienced at any other hospital given there never seems to be enough time.
 
In short, Cordelia got to Headwaters, got patched up, and we were back home before noon! My second trip to Headwaters? Well that was a way bigger deal.
 
The experience could not have been more different. Not only did Dr. Hafazalla, my Obstetrician, welcome my midwife, but he consulted both of us as to what the best plan for my delivery would be! Every nurse I encountered was positive, personal, and caring. They answered every question I could throw at them, and treated me with respect. Together, Dr. Hafazalla and his team of nurses made a challenging time a wonderful, caring experience. Nialls was born a healthy 9 pounds, 4 ounces, and I couldn’t have been happier!
 
And then there was the third trip... Just a few months ago Karine, my middle child, started complaining about a bad stomach ache. Although I was sure it was nothing, when it wouldn’t go away, I called and booked her into Dr. Murphy’s Paediatric Clinic. Within 90 minutes, Karine had been checked in, examined and had x-rays ordered and taken. Luckily, it wasn’t a huge issue, and Karine walked out perfectly happy not long after.
 
There are so many things I love about Headwaters: I love the parking, I love the volunteers, I even love the little café on the first floor. But most of all, I love that my children all have positive first hospital experiences. Hospitals and doctors are always made to seem so scary in cartoons and TV shows, and that trickles down to our children. When you need care, you don’t want your child to panic because they’re scared of doctors – you want them to know that they will be listened to, respected, and cared for.
 
I started this letter by writing about Everyday Angels. Well, there’s no doubt in my mind: the doctors, the nurses, the clerks and everyone else at Headwaters are truly Everyday Angels. They help us and keep us calm during the scariest of times.
 
I’m so proud to say that my family and I are no longer just Headwaters patients, we’re Headwaters’ donors and volunteers, too! And I invite you to be the same: to support this important pillar in our community. Donors like you are responsible for creating this incredible atmosphere where everyone can feel comfortable and get great care close to home.