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Convenience for a cancer survivor

Anita and her daughter Megan were welcomed into a caring environment at Headwaters Health Care Centre.
As someone who is currently battling ovarian cancer and has already beat three different types of cancer and had 20 surgeries before her 76th birthday, Anita is no stranger to hospitals. Recently, Anita and her daughter Megan moved from Toronto to Shelburne, and they were not accustomed to the warm and welcoming environment and care they found at Headwaters Health Care Centre.

When a cancer-related incident brought Anita to Headwaters’ Emergency Department, the mother and daughter remember how accommodating and caring the nurses were. “Jason, our emergency department nurse, looked at my chart and quickly got me admitted and we were set up in no time. When I wanted to know what was happening, Jason was a great communicator, being very honest yet caring. Once I was admitted, nurses would come and check on us, and asked if we wanted anything to eat or drink. They are so caring. They are beyond phenomenal,” recalls Anita. Megan also appreciates that she was given a recliner chair to sleep in – a comfortable alternative to what she was used to at other hospitals. “Headwaters takes care of not only the patient but the family member,” Megan says.

“Coming to Headwaters was like coming to heaven,” says Anita. “The hospital is so clean and well-appointed, and everybody always has a smile on their face. Even though everyone is very busy, they’re so kind, and they don’t keep you waiting. You feel like you’re somebody and not a number.

Anita had been receiving chemotherapy treatments from oncologists in Toronto and initially continued to do so even after their move to Shelburne. Megan would bring Anita to every appointment by pushing Anita’s wheelchair through busy train and subway stations, transit elevators, and city streets, or commuting by car. “With winter weather, the commute was treacherous,” recalls Megan. “I have also slept on stiff chairs, and we’ve waited in the Emergency Department for more than 30 hours, which is very uncomfortable after a long journey.”  They subsequently transferred care to Barrie to avoid such a long commute, not realizing that Headwaters could provide chemotherapy closer to home.

 “In the meantime, our oncologist in Barrie let us know we could do virtual consultations through Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) at Headwaters, so we have made the change and no longer need to travel far for virtual appointments with our oncologist,” explains Anita. Headwaters’ OTN virtual consultation has been a game changer, providing much-needed convenience and relief to a long cancer journey.

“Our OTN nurse Sarajayne at Headwaters is absolutely phenomenal,” says Megan. “She is amazing, and we feel very well looked after at Headwaters.”

“Headwaters made me feel welcomed. I feel like Headwaters is my family,” says Anita.
Pseudonyms used in this story, upon patient request