Sharing: Shuswap Hospital Foundation’s director of development Fiona Harris listens as Sicamous resident Laverne Dubois describes how the CT scan at Shuswap Lake General Hospital helped save her life.

Hospital campaign gets big kick-off

Funds: Equipment made the difference when Laverne Dubois had a stroke

The Shuswap Hospital Foundation kicked off the 2014-15 campaign with a couple of big boosts and an avid cheerleader.

This year’s goal is $250,000 and is already at $75,000 thanks to a $10,000 donation presented by Norm Brown on behalf of the Rotary Club of Salmon Arm at the kick-off last Thursday and a $20,000 donation from the Salmon Arm Lions Club presented by John Lund the next day.

Fiona Harris, the foundation’s director of development, was MC and following speeches by president Doug Murray and Shuswap Lake General Hospital administrator Peter Dutoit, Laverne Dubois shared her powerful story about surviving a stroke without after-effects, thanks to the community that raised $1.5 million in one year to purchase a CT scanner.

Just over a year ago, the Sicamous resident suffered a stroke.

Her husband realized what was happening and called for an ambulance that transported her to Salmon Arm.

A CT scan revealed Dubois was a candidate for thrombolytic medication.

Three days later, the active 71-year-old returned home with no physical or intellectual deficits.

She required no special treatment or rehab and,   other than feeling a bit tired, she had no other symptoms.

Today Dubois is feeling very lucky, not just to be alive, but healthy too.

“If it wouldn’t have been for the CT scanner,” she says, noting the drugs had only become available a mere five months before her stroke. “If I can help in any way, I will. I owe them that much, a lot more than that. The hospital has been super good for me.”

The Shuswap Hospital Foundation’s purpose is to raise funds for high priority patient care equipment – equipment whose operational costs Interior Health is willing to fund.

The CT scanner was installed in the hospital in 2009 with a $205,000 upgrade added in August.

The foundation is currently working to raise the final $72,000 to complete the purchase.

Other items on the priority list include: two $17,810 Stryker stretchers, an $18,400 vein finder, a $60,000 blood analyzer, a $29,900 bariatric bed, among others.

A recent $10,000 donation covered the cost of a Medi-Therm system, a patient warming and cooling system that will enable medical staff to ensure optimal patient temperature management during issues such as hypothermia (the body loses too much heat) or hyperthermia (the body is too warm).

The Shuswap Hospital Foundation kiosk at the Mall at Piccadilly will now be open until Christmas for donations.

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