Receiving a cancer diagnosis is not easy, particularly when it comes out of the blue. This is exactly what happened with Don Reid, who was having a procedure done for a completely different reason, and was told that he had bladder cancer. This was in July of 2019, and his diagnosis was the start of his cancer treatment journey. But there is a silver lining to almost everything, and in Don’s case, the discovery of a malignant tumor by chance turned out to be lucky. The tumor was not advanced, and he avoided chemotherapy and radiation.
Don did, however, require a couple of surgeries. As a grateful patient, he is thankful for the care he received all the way through his journey, starting with his family GP, Dr. Pretorius, and his surgeon, Dr. Ottam. “I am thankful that I live close to the hospital and that I received excellent service. I think that many people do not realize what I great hospital we have here”, Don stated.
His hospital experience, starting with his admission before surgery, time spent in recovery, and recuperating on 6 South, was so positive that he decided to share his experience as a grateful patient. “I was not treated like a number, but rather people, even in the Operating Room, took the time to introduce themselves and to acknowledge me as a person with feelings and fears,” he recounted.
Although he cannot remember the names of all the people with whom he interacted, he is particularly appreciative for the care that he received from nurse Stephanie on 6 South. “Stephanie and I had a connection as she did her training at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT), where I had worked before.” Don explained, “She was always extremely helpful and nothing was too much trouble. I had a bad night one night and she was there for me, which meant a lot to me.”
Don’s gratitude to all of the staff meant that when it came time to educate student nurses, he was more than willing to participate and to give a patient’s point of view. “I think that it is really important for the student nurses to know what a patient is going through and to see it from the patient’s perspective”, he said.
His recovery was progressing well until he had a setback in December, when he developed an E. coli infection in his bladder. He ended up in the Emergency Department and spend time on 4 North, where again the entire staff was excellent. He was given all sorts of tests in order to determine the best antibiotic to fight his infection, and instructions on how to use the IV drip at home. By mid-December, Don had successfully fought the infection, and was given a clean bill of health by Dr. Gupta, Internist and Infectious Disease Specialist.
Don summarized his experience by saying, “I realize that the doctors and nurses have a very tough job and cannot please everyone all the time. But my experience, particularly with everyone on 6 South was so positive and I cannot express how grateful I am for the care that I received!”