Delta Hospital Stories

Everyone has a story. There are happy stories, healing stories and sad stories. There are stories about life-saving seconds and ones about long-drawn out years. There have been stories your friend can’t wait to tell you, and those best saved for a rainy day. There are compassionate stories, dramatic stories, and tender ones. There have been stories that truly define a person, and those that simply fade away.

For almost forty years, Delta Hospital has been a part of many local stories, maybe even yours.

  • Doug Bamford
    “It’s in those moments you realize your mortal and it can all be taken away. I’m thankful I live in a community where they have the technology and the people to help you. I believe Delta Hospital saved my life. ”
    Local high school teacher, Doug Bamford counts himself one of the lucky. One night, he woke with severe chest pain and was having trouble breathing. Thinking he was having a heart attack, Doug’s wife rushed him to Delta Hospital. Blood tests showed no sign of a heart attack: however, Delta Hospital’s Emergency physician ordered a CT scan. It revealed that Doug had a dissected Aortic Valve and need advanced acute care, followed by surgery, fast.

    Now fit and healthy, Doug says “You see the world differently after something like this. That’s why I’m supporting Delta Hospital. When you have this kind of experience, you realize how important it is to have a hospital so close to home. It was a five-minute drive for us. If we’d had to travel farther, I don’t know what might have happened.”
  • Nicola Leckie
    “You take things for granted until you really need them. I’d never thought about a CT scanner before, but I’m incredibly glad it was there.”
    Like most of us, Nicola never had a reason to think that her life might depend on a CT scanner. She’s young, healthy and has never had a serious illness. But one morning not long ago, she began feeling ‘weird pains’ in her head. She thought maybe it was a migraine. “Then I felt a massive pain and I knew something was really wrong,” she says. “I knew I needed to go to the hospital.” By the time paramedics brought her to Delta Hospital’s Emergency Department, the pain was excruciating.

    A CT scan was immediately arranged. It showed that Nicola had suffered a brain haemorrhage. Thanks to a quick diagnosis, Nicola was able to be treated immediately. Although she had to be hospitalized for over a week, she didn’t need surgery and, remarkably, had no lasting side effects.

    While Nicola was in the hospital, her husband brought their children in to see her. She remembers looking at them and thinking how their lives would have been forever changed if she hadn’t received the care she needed so quickly.

    “My family and I have so much to be thankful for,” says Nicola. “Delta Hospital has a very special place in my family’s hearts.”
  • Lana and Holly Idestrup
    “I’m here, and Holly is here, because of the quick thinking by Delta’s Emergency team. They recognized how serious it was and got me on antibiotics so fast – that’s what made the difference.”
    When Lana Idestrup came to Delta Hospital’s Emergency Department with sudden and excruciating pain in her lower leg, our medical staff had a mystery to solve, and quickly. Even the slightest touch to Lana’s leg was agonizing.

    What made matters more critical was that Lana was also 6 months pregnant. Our nurses and physicians feared whatever was causing her such agony could affect her baby.
    As her vital signs were beginning to drop, Lana’s condition was becoming more serious. When her nurse walked by, a small gust of air hit Lana’s leg and caused her to scream out in pain – the experienced RN immediately recognized what they were possibly dealing with. Although no physical signs had yet appeared, she suspected Lana had Necrotizing Fasciitis, a serious bacterial infection also known as flesh-eating disease. The team took this nurse’s lead and started Lana on antibiotics right away, while lab technicians began rigorous diagnostic testing.

    Within 24 hours, Delta Hospital’s diagnosis of Necrotising Fasciitis was confirmed. Lana was transferred to another facility where her daughter was born by emergency caesarean section and emergency surgery was performed on her leg. Weighing just 2lb 1 oz, Holly was tiny, but healthy.

    Lana and her husband Jon know firsthand just how important to have access to emergency care close to home that you can rely on. Now, several years later, Lana has some minor issues with her leg, but it’s a small price, considering that her and Holly’s situation could’ve turned out much, much worse.

    “If it weren’t for Delta Hospital, I could have lost my leg, my life, or my baby.”
  • Rick Riggs
    “If I hadn't come to Delta Hospital when I did, I wouldn't be alive.”
    The last time Rick Riggs visited Kathy Haslett at the Cardiac Care Centre in Delta Hospital, he was, unbeknownst to Rick, experiencing a heart attack. “He was grey when he came in, I took one look at him and knew there was something very wrong,” says Kathy. Kathy instantly recognised that Rick was in acute cardiac arrest and rushed him through to the Emergency Department where his condition was quickly confirmed by an emergency doctor. Within an hour and a half of Rick entering Delta Hospital for a routine check, he was being operated on by surgeons at Royal Columbian Hospital.

    Four years on from undergoing major heart surgery, Rick has come back to Delta Hospital to visit Kathy and share with us his story of recovery. “If I hadn’t come to Delta Hospital when I did, I wouldn’t be alive”, says Rick, reflecting on the significance of that day. Rick explains how although he hadn’t been feeling like himself for quite some time, he never imagined that it was a result of serious cardiac disease. He recalls a number of experiences - doing the Grouse Grind, going for a walk with his wife, and playing with his kids where he felt a shortness of breath, back pain and fatigue. He realises now that these symptoms were indicators that something was not right with his heart. Rick put off a visit to Delta Hospital’s Cardiac Care Clinic for a stress test in order to go on a planned vacation with his family. In hindsight, Rick realises that not listening to the messages his body was sending him, was an almost fatal mistake.

    Since his surgery, Rick has made a number of lifestyle changes – he exercises regularly, has changed his diet and adjusted his work/life balance to ensure he better manages his stress levels. He also goes for regular checkups including a stress test once a year and is much more conscious of his health. He encourages others to take note of changes in their body, “know your own body and listen to what it’s telling you. If you feel something isn’t right, get it checked out,” says Rick who was surprised by the long list of signs that can indicate cardiac disease. Kathy and Rick have similar messages – prevention is key.

    Their message is simple – exercise, be careful what you put into your body, and take note of changes in your body.

    “No one is immune to heart disease, but the good thing is that it is preventable. Understanding your body and the impact of everyday activities like the food we eat and the exercise we do can make a world of difference on our quality of life,” explains Kathy. She urges people with concerns to come in and get tested at the Delta Cardiac Care Clinic, where a range of tests can be done to assess an individual’s heart health.
  • Mak Kinsey
    “There's such a comfort having Delta Hospital here. Without it, we would have a long way to go.”
    “We’re very fond of Delta Hospital. When you’ve worked so hard to achieve something, you’re invested in making it a success. And our growing hospital is a wonderful success story!”

    “Like many people, Mak Kinsey refers to Delta Hospital as ‘my hospital’ It’s more than pride; it’s a sense of how tightly our hospital is woven into the fabric of our community.

    As the founding chair of Delta Hospital Foundation, Mak was also one of its first fundraisers. Despite the hard economic times of the late 1980s, he experienced the generosity and spirit of Delta that enabled the hospital to open. In 2002, he witnessed the same strength of purpose when the community fought, and won, to restore the acute care status that ensured Delta Hospital would stay open.

    “The community was fierce! No way were they going to close our hospital,” says Mak. “We’re very fond of Delta Hospital because we’ve had to struggle to keep it going. When you have worked so hard to achieve something, you are invested in making sure it’s a success.”

    Mak Kinsey is speaking from experience: Delta Hospital saved his life by rapidly diagnosing a gallbladder problem that required emergency surgery. As Mak points out, “there’s such comfort in having it here. Without it, we would have a long way to go.”
  • John Burr
    “I had a health emergency on Christmas Eve: it was such a relief for me and my family that Delta Hospital was right around the corner.”
    Thankfully, not all emergencies require surgery. But when they do, our patients can depend on our Delta Hospital surgical team.

    In John’s case, he was at the fire station in November 2016 when he began to experience severe pains in his stomach and knew he needed to get to Delta Hospital quickly. I diagnosed pancreatitis caused by gallstones, a potentially life-threatening condition. John spent several days at Delta Hospital and surgery to remove his gall bladder was scheduled for mid-January. On Christmas Eve, however, John had another attack that brought him back to Delta Hospital. We once again brought John’s infection under control and he was home in a few days to finally celebrate the holidays with his family. Thankfully, John had no further attacks and since his surgery, he’s been the picture of health!

    John’s gall bladder removal was just one of more than 5,000 surgeries we perform every year at Delta Hospital. Some of these are emergency surgeries, while others are elective procedures, such as knee repairs, as well as complex operations to treat breast cancer, oral and urological conditions.
  • Alicia and Danielle Guichon
    “When Grandma was in Delta Hospital, it was such a morale booster for her to have family and friends visiting her all the time. Delta Hospital is so close to home.”
    “The holiday season reminds us how grateful I am for our family – and how Delta Hospital is a big part of keeping family with family”, says Alicia Guichon.

    Every day, generations pass through our doors, we care for people at all ages and stages of life in a vibrant environment of warmth and support. It’s this environment that inspired Alicia and Danielle Guichon and their cousins, to give to Delta Hospital with their annual “Guichon Grandkids Annual Corn and Potato Sale.”

    “We’ve done this fundraiser for 8 years (in 2018) in memory of our grandmother Lorraine Guichon, who received wonderful, heartfelt care at Delta Hospital,” says Alicia. “When Grandma was in Delta Hospital, it was such a morale booster for her to have family and friends visiting her all the time. Delta Hospital is so close to home.”

    “There’s such peace of mind with Delta Hospital,” say Alicia. “Our grandfather was there recently and it was so simple to visit him. You want hospital visits to be positive and relaxing, the way they are at DH. That why we love the hospital and that’s why we’re loyal supporters.”
  • Lloyd Jones
    “I know it takes dedication, skill and compassion to provide superb care, and that's what Delta Hospital does every single day.”
    “If it wasn’t for our hospital, we’d be in real trouble.I’m a community member and proud supporter of Delta Hospital. I’ve experienced a few medical emergencies in my 94 years, and I can tell you, having an excellent hospital right in our town has made the world of difference to me and to my family.

    I’ve been rushed to the Emergency Unit by ambulance, and my wife and some of our children have been treated here. But probably my most dramatic medical story involved a simple walk. One Saturday morning, I noticed a strange rash on my arm. I went to the clinic across from the hospital: the physician there diagnosed Necrotizing Fasciitis, or flesh-eating disease, and sent me straight the Delta Hospital.

    I was shocked! But as I crossed the street to the hospital , the doctor who had diagnosed me was already on the phone to his colleagues and as soon as I sat down in Admissions, the Delta Hospital physicians had me hooked up to an IV and my treatment plan was being put into action. For the next few weeks, I came to the hospital every day. Thanks to excellent care, I suffered no serious consequences.

    I don’t like to think about what might have happened if Delta Hospital hadn’t been there for me. At time like these, the drive to Richmond or Surrey seems very long and very difficult. I’m so fortunate that my journey to life-saving care took minutes, not hours.

    For this reason, and many more, I’m thankful for our hospital. It’s become a big part of my life. My wife Kathleen now lives in the wonderful residential care unit, Mountain View Manor. My granddaughter has painted murals on the walls of the Manor and she did the children’s room in the Emergency Department.

    I believe we have one of the finest hospitals in the region right here in Delta. I’ve volunteered here for many years; I’ve been a donor for nearly 20 years. My wife was a nurse, so was my mother and three of my aunts. I know it takes dedication, skill and compassion to provide superb care, and that’s what Delta Hospital does every single day.”
  • Kevin Jones
    “My first thought was about my wife. I need to be here for her...I am too young to die - we have a whole life ahead of us.”
    As a young, healthy 35 year old man, I was fortunate to be blessed with many things: my beautiful wife Michelle, a career, our home and, of course, my health. Never could I imagine how quickly these things could be taken away.

    December 15, 2012 began like any other day. I was about to enjoy a holiday celebration with Michelle. She and I were getting ready for a special date we had planned. And then it happened…an excruciating pain that I had never ever experienced. My head was pounding – deep down I was panicking because this wasn’t normal. I can’t explain the pain I felt. At times I was literally pulling hair out of my head to try and relieve the pressure. My wife called 911 and within minutes (which seemed like hours due to the increasing pain) the ambulance had arrived and the paramedics were rushing me to Delta Hospital.

    Thankfully, the hospital is nearby our home in Ladner. Upon admitting, it became clear that there was something seriously wrong with my health. I was assessed and was rushed to the CT room for a brain scan. The medical staff determined that my life was in great danger and I needed immediate attention. A code was issued to alarm the medical staff of the severity of my situation – potentially life threatening.

    I was then transferred by ambulance to another health facility. I can’t really remember everything, the details were a blur as the pain I was feeling was increasing. I later found out that while this was happening, Michelle was receiving support from a Delta Hospital nurse named Mary. She came with us in the ambulance and along the way reassured Michelle. She also provided me with the critical medical attention I required during the commute.

    After many tests, two cerebral angiograms and several stressful days spent in the hospital, it was determined that I suffered a sub arachnoid hemorrhage.

    I know that Delta Hospital saved me.

    I would not be here today without their quick response and life-saving skills and expertise.
  • Della and Brendan Gallagher
    “No one likes to get hurt - but when I would get injured and came to Delta Hospital, I knew I was in good hands. Here, I'm confident that I'll get the best treatment and they'll take good care of me.”
    When my husband and I moved to Delta in 2003, we had no idea that Delta Hospital’s emergency department would be so important to us.

    I’m a physiotherapist, so I knew that as my kids grew and got involved in sports, we might have to deal with an injury or two. I didn’t know that my son Brendan would one day play in the NHL, or that his competitive brother and sisters would also play hard - I just knew that I had an active, somewhat accident-prone family! Over the years, Delta Hospital has been here for us through a long list of concussions,dislocated shoulders and broken bones.

    For the past few years, I’ve also been fortunate to work at Delta Hospital. As someone who has an inside perspective, I see how well the hospital works on a professional level - but as a mother who has taken her injured children through the emergency room doors, I know why Delta Hospital has such a fantastic reputation.

    “Delta Hospital has always been here when my family needed them. They’re always here for you too. I’m so proud of what my mom does at Delta Hospital. She’s helping so many other families and making their lives better.” —Brendan Gallagher
  • Vicki and Betty Fenn
    “Things are going to happen to us, whether we want them to or not. It's a great comfort to know Delta Hospital is so close to home.”
    My name is Vicki Fenn. With 3 grown children, and elderly parents with complex healthcare needs, I have many reasons to be glad my community includes Delta Hospital.

    Two years ago, my mother became ill. She lost her appetite and her energy. Worse, she was anxious and distressed. I’d never seen her like that.

    You see, my Mum is incredibly strong. She’s raised 5 children, she lived through the war years, she’s endured the loss of a child, and she has been caring for Dad since he developed dementia. As she approached her 90th birthday, she and my father enjoyed a busy, independent life, filled with family and friends.

    So when Mum’s physical and mental health changed so dramatically, we were alarmed. We learned a vitamin B12 deficiency was the cause of Mum’s problems. We were referred to Delta Hospital’s Specialized Seniors Clinic, where extraordinary gerontologists guided my mother back to health. She began treatment and it was like watching a flower come to life.

    As my Mum says, “Things are going to happen to us, whether we want them to or not. It’s a great comfort to know Delta Hospital is so close to home.”

    Delta Hospital’s gerontologists also helped my mother cope with my father’s cognitive impairment. A nurse even made a house call to answer my mother’s questions about Dad’s condition.

    At Delta Hospital, my siblings and I are welcomed as partners in our parents’ health. The doctors don’t rush us; they get to know us. The volunteers at the front desk and the health professionals in the clinics know us by name.

    Convenience, expertise, warmth and extraordinary care: these qualities make Delta Hospital special. Right now, our hospital needs us. As a longtime monthly donor, my Mum believes in Delta Hospital and the services it provides for this community. She believes in doing her part to help support it. “It’s for the future,” she says. “Delta is growing and our hospital simply must expand so that it can keep providing the best care.”
  • Pamela Turriff
    “I remember when I was a teenager in Tsawwassen when Delta Hospital opened in 1980. My mother explained to me how important it was to have a community hospital nearby so that people didn’t have to travel to get the medical care they need.”
    After Pamela’s mother, Irene, passed away in 2008, she began accompanying her father, Bill Turiff, tho the Founders’ Teas hosted by the Foundation, where Bill had been honoured for his ongoing generosity through his annual donations for the past 26 years.

    Inspired by her parent’s philanthropy, Pamela wanted to leave a legacy for Delta Hospital and Community Health Foundation. In 2011, Pamela made a bequest in her Will and joined a special group of legacy donors invited each year to the Founders’ Teas, now help as a summer picnic at Harris Barn. Pamela also made a special donation that year towards vital equipment for Delta Hospital’s residential care facility.

    It is through generous hearts, such as those of the Turriff family, that Delta Hospital and Community Health Foundation can continue to help Delta Hospital provide quality care and innovative healthcare services now and for future generations.
  • Randy and Mary Anne Kaardal
    “I see firsthand the impact that community support has on our hospital. Deltans believe in having the very best in healthcare, right here in our community.”
    Randy and Mary Anne Kaardal believe in helping to create a healthy future for Delta – for their family, their friends and their neighbours.

    As Vice-Chair of the Delta Hospital Foundation Board, Randy sees firsthand the impact that community support has on our hospital. He sees the equipment that is purchased, the staff whose education is invested in, and the lives that are saved, all because Deltans believe in having access to the very best in healthcare, right here in our community.

    That’s why Randy and Mary Anne have chosen to help lay the foundations for a healthy future. As members of The Delta Builders Club, they helped to raise the final funds needed to expand and enhance Delta Hospital’s Medical Imaging and Laboratory departments.
  • Allan and Barbara Baydala
    “We see the generosity of the community that cares so deeply for our hospital”
    Allan and Barbara Baydala have lived in Ladner for over 25 years. In this time, they have watched their children and the community around them grow, and have felt secure in the knowledge that Delta Hospital was close to home, ready to support and care for their family if needed.

    As Past Chair of Delta Hospital Foundatoin, Allan know that Delta Hospital is one of the region's finest community hospitals. Allan sees the exceptional care and compassion of our hospital staff, the hundreds of hours of volunteer time, and the generosity of the community that cares so deeply for our hospital.

    That's why Allan and Barbara have chosen to help lay the foundations for a healthy future. As members of The Delta Builders Club, they are helping to raise the final funds needed to expand and enhance Delta Hospital's Medical Imaging and Laboratory departments.
  • Dr. Robert Shaw
    “Delta Hospital plays a critical role in making sure our patients get the right care, at the right time.”
    For the past decade, Dr. Robert Shaw has dedicated his time to providing outstanding care for patients at Delta Hospital. He chose to join the Delta Builders Club because he cares deeply about our hospital: the staff he works alongside, the patients he cares for, and the wider community who may one day, call on Delta Hospital.

    "The Medical Imaging and Laboratory departments are so important to the hospital - every day we rely on the tests they produce to provide the very best care to our patients. Delta Hospital plays a critical role in making sure our patients get the right care, at the right time."

    They's why Dr. Shaw chose to help lay the foundations for a healthy future. As a member of Delta Builders Club, he helped to raise the final funds needed to expand and enhance Delta Hospital's Medical Imaging and Laboratory departments.
  • George Holland
    “My donation is in memory of my wife Brenda, and as an acknowledgement of the hospital and medical team that supported Brenda”
    Ladner resident Brenda Holland was admitted to Delta Hospital on December 28th, 2006, with a cerebral aneurism. Brenda spent many days at Delta Hospital and then underwent rehab, however, when complications developed, doctors discovered an inoperable tumour. One year later to the date of her first admission, she was admitted once again with the cancer that would eventually take her life on January 6th, 2008.

    George Holland, her loving husband of 47 years described Brenda as outgoing and hard working. “We had a lot of fun,” says George, describing the times they would share with friends and family at their weekend home on Pender Island.

    As a long term supporter of Delta Hospital, George wanted to give back to his community. He wanted to acknowledge the hospital and medical team that supported Brenda, and to create a fitting legacy in loving memory of his wife.

    This is why George has made a generous gift of over $86,000 in memory of Brenda, to the Results: Healthy & Growing Campaign to expand and enhance Delta Hospital’s Medical Imaging and Laboratory Departments.
  • Blair and Arlene Ledingham
    “We love our hospital. It's been good to us and we want to be good to it. ”
    For most of their 50 years of marriage, Blair and Arlene Ledingham have lived in Tsawwassen. They have spent countless days exploring Boundary Bay’s shores, and evenings at home with family and friends.

    Blair and Arlene believe that our community is special. They feel that this community is as close as family, and that feeling extends to the care that every patient receives at Delta Hospital.

    This is why they made a gift to the Results: Healthy & Growing Campaign to expand and enhance Delta Hospital’s Medical Imaging and Laboratory Departments.
  • John Hatfield
    “I believe in Delta Hospital.”
    As a community-minded resident of Delta, John Hatfield knows that having immediate access to the most technically advanced medical equipment and compassionate staff is important. John believes in Delta Hospital.

    Our community’s health is important, and after undergoing his own cardiac treatment, John knows that nothing is more important than Delta’s cardiac health and the vital role echo-ultrasounds play in a patient’s diagnosis.

    This is why he made a gift to the Results: Healthy & Growing Campaign to expand and enhance Delta Hospital’s Medical Imaging and Laboratory Departments.
  • The Orlitzkys
    “We understand the importance of having a well equipped Delta Hospital close to home.”
    When the Orlitzky family, long time Delta residents and local business owners of ATS Electro-Lube, heard that Delta Hospital was expanding, they decided to get behind their community and help build a healthy future for Delta.

    With a growing family, they understand the importance of having a well equipped Delta Hospital close to home, and the piece of mind that this brings.

    That’s why ATS Electro-Lube and the Orlitzky family have chosen to help lay the foundations for a healthy future. As members of The Delta Builders Club, they are helping to raise the final funds needed to expand and enhance Delta Hospital’s Medical Imaging and Laboratory departments.
  • Keith and Marilyn McGee
    “We believe Delta Hospital is the keystone of the community.”
    Moving to Tsawwassen over 20 years ago, Keith and Marilyn McGee watched this community go through many changes. But what has always remained constant is the special and compassionate care that Delta Hospital has given to their family and loved ones.

    As a past Chair of the Board of Delta Hospital Foundation and as the Chair of the 'Results: Healthy & Growing' Diagnostic Services Building Committee, Keith sees how gifts transform patient care and how the money raised supports the amazing work our physicians, surgeons, nurses, and medical staff perform every day.

    Keith and Marilyn believe that Delta Hospital is the keystone of this community. This is why they made a gift to the 'Results: Healthy & Growing Campaign' to expand and enhance Delta Hospital's Medical Imaging and Laboratory Departments.
  • The Nordmann Family
    “You don't realize how important a local hospital is, until you need it ”
    Hard workers and compassionate neighbours, Joern and Ilse Nordmann have called Delta home for the past 38 years. They have built a successful business and raised their two children here. With generous spirits and a desire to give back to their community, the Nordmanns were always searching for ways to make a difference in a substantial way.

    When Joern began cancer treatment in 2014, Ilse became familiar with Delta Hospital and she saw, firsthand, what a comfort having a local hospital so close to home can bring to a family suffering through an illness.

    Having learned of the efforts to raise money to build the new Diagnostic Services Building, Ilse soon found her way to the offices of Delta Hospital Foundation, asking only what can we do to help? Shortly thereafter, the Nordmann Family made a significant personal contribution to the capital campaign.

    Delta Hospital relies, in part, on the generosity and thoughfulness of individuals and families in our community, like the Nordmann family, to keep our future bright.

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