14th Annual Corus Caring Hearts Radiothon Raises Funds for Essential Equipment during COVID-19
An active 59-year-old who loves spending time with her grandchildren, chasing adventures on her motorcycle and soaking up warm-weather travel, the last thing Marie* (name changed to respect the patient’s privacy) expected to take back from her trip to Florida this past March was COVID-19.
“We came back when the government instructed all Canadians to return, but I started feeling unwell early on during my quarantine at home,” she recalls.
By the 4th day back in Eastern Ontario, Marie was coughing and had shortness of breath, so she decided to visit the COVID-19 Assessment Centre in Hawkesbury. There, her oxygen levels were so low the doctor on-site recommended she go to the hospital immediately.
Once at the Hawkesbury General Hospital, Marie’s illness worsened. It became apparent that her rapidly deteriorating condition required more intensive care, so her doctors arranged for a transfer to Cornwall Community Hospital.
“CCH is the only hospital outside of Ottawa in our region with ventilator capacity,” says Jeanette Despatie, President and CEO, Cornwall Community Hospital. “Our physicians and staff have trained extensively to help give patients like Marie the best chance at recovery. We are proud to offer this life-saving equipment and important medical expertise, especially during the pandemic.”
Much of Marie’s memory from her time spent at Cornwall Community Hospital is vague. She was in a coma for three and a half weeks at CCH and remembers waking up unsure of where she was or what had happened. Through the fog of COVID-19, she does remember the kindness of a nurse she calls “my angel.” Awakening from her coma, Marie says, “after I had the ventilator removed, all I wanted were popsicles, and she made sure I had some!”
When she was strong enough, Marie was discharged back to Hawkesbury General Hospital. With the sun shining through the door, paramedics brought her outside for the first time in weeks and staff played the Beatles’ song, “Here comes the sun”. Her care team all clapped and cheered; a meaningful moment for all hospital employees who were involved in Marie’s care. In total, she spent over 50 days in hospital between Hawkesbury and Cornwall during her ordeal with COVID-19. When asked about CCH, she says, “I am extremely grateful for the care I received, and for the staff who saved my life.”
A marathon, not a sprint:
To-date, this region has been spared the same influx of cases experienced elsewhere, but it takes ongoing strategic planning and vigilance to keep patients, frontline workers, and our community safe for the duration of the pandemic.
The 14th Annual Corus Caring Hearts Radiothon, in partnership with Cornwall Community Hospital Foundation, is going virtual on Thursday, August 20th from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. to help raise funds for essential medical equipment required throughout COVID-19. Usually held on-site at CCH, this year’s Radiothon will broadcast live from Corus studios (BOOM 101.9 FM and Fresh FM 104.5) and feature six donation drop-off locations across SDG.
“I’ve been fortunate to have a bird’s-eye-view of the herculean preparation and commitment to patient care at CCH during this difficult time,” says Amy Gillespie, Executive Director at Cornwall Community Hospital Foundation. “It’s not easy for anyone, and there’s so much going on behind the scenes at the hospital. Patients like Marie remind us why we raise funds for local healthcare. Our Radiothon might look different this year, but there’s no better time to support CCH.”
Exceptional care, no matter the circumstances:
Since late March, CCH has already delivered major retrofits and revisions in work practices to protect our community, including:
- A Covid-specific CCU (Critical Care Unit), on top of our regular CCU.
- A Covid-19 simulation space to train physicians and staff.
- Code Blue rooms on every floor to resuscitate sick patients and minimize traffic throughout the building.
- Additional morgue capacity in case of surge in pandemic-related fatalities.
- An 18-bed ward in CCH’s former auditorium for potential future admission surges.
- An industrial, CSA-standard compliant laundry room to clean gowns in-house, preserving PPE and supporting infection control practices.
- Retrofitting the COVID-19 Assessment Centre within our Community Addiction & Mental Health Centre.
- Re-organizing occupied spaces to accommodate COVID-19 related needs & workflows, including, but not limited to, relocating Withdrawal Management services to the hospital building.
- Installing protective screens for staff to work safely while CCH re-opens surgical and clinical services.
Further changes should be expected as time passes, and more is learned about COVID-19.
Support our Radiothon, for a good cause!
There are three easy ways to participate in this year’s Corus Caring Hearts Radiothon onAugust 20th!
- From 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. – Tune in to BOOM 101.9 FM and Fresh FM 104.5. Use our Cogeco Call-In Line on Radiothon Day to donate at 613-865-7200.
- From 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. – Donate online at cornwallhospitalfoundation.ca
- From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Bring an envelope including your donation and contact information (all donations over $20 will receive a charitable receipt by mail) to one of six local drop-off locations:
- Rozon Insurance, 150 Military Road, Lancaster – drop-off box at Main Entrance.
- Dairy Queen Cornwall – Top up your order with a donation at Drive-Thru or cash. And, if you order Dairy Queen’s Cotton Candy dipped ice cream cone on Radiothon Day, those funds will go directly to the hospital.
- Starbucks Cornwall – Drive-Thru station.
- RE/MAX Cornwall, 649 Second Street East – Drive-Thru station.
- O’Neill’s Pub, 29 Long Sault Drive, Long Sault – Drive-Thru station.
- Fine’s Home Hardware, 9 Thorold Ln, Ingleside – Drive-Thru station.