It was a cold December morning when Jack Doherty registered in the Emergency Department of The Scarborough Hospital’s (TSH) Birchmount campus, after much convincing from his wife, Marie. He had spent much of the previous night in extreme pain accompanied by severe vomiting – discomfort caused by a hiatus hernia.
By the time he arrived at the hospital, the pain was so intense that he told the triage nurse he thought he might be having a heart attack. In the blink of an eye, the nurse had him examined, erring on the side of caution. Fortunately, a heart attack was ruled out, but a series of tests began and Jack was impressed his complaint was taken so seriously.
“The pain never went away. It turned out I had a mild case of pneumonia,” says Jack. “The staff were so friendly and co-operative. People were quite professional, quite explanatory, making sure I knew everything that was going on. And the terrific chap who did my CT scan was quite humourous.”
In fact, Jack was blown away by the care he received from every single person he encountered at TSH including the triage nurse, the Clinical Day Unit, the X-ray department, and Drs. Bisset and Sivaji.
“I was so touched by it all,” says Jack. “Considering the volume of patients they are working with, I was treated extremely well.”
Jack is no stranger to TSH. Having lived in Scarborough for 57 years, he has been to the Birchmount campus many times for a variety of reasons, even jokingly calling himself a regular.
Jack fondly recalls when he and his wife got to know Major Barbara Champ, former director of spiritual and religious care at The Salvation Army Scarborough Grace Hospital, as TSH’s Birchmount campus was known back then. He says Champ used to check in to see how he and his wife were doing and ask if she could pray with them. Jack used to joke with her about her name, referencing the well-known movie based on the play by George Bernard Shaw called Major Barbara.
His medical journey at TSH continues today as the recent testing he underwent revealed something of an anomaly in his chest – an unexplained mass that his doctors are looking into. He is grateful his doctors found it. Although he “came into the hospital with one thing and left with another,” he is glad they know it exists and can continue to test and monitor while they work towards a treatment plan.
When asked whether he would recommend the hospital to anyone else, Jack replied with a big smile and a simple, enthusiastic, “Yes!”