We all know that the Pembroke Regional Hospital works hard every day to provide the best quality care to its patients. One of its newest and fastest growing services is Orthopedics and I would like to thank the doctors and all those who support that department for giving me back my life.
On December 28, 2017, I became the hospital’s first female patient to have bilateral knee replacement surgery, a procedure that involves the total replacement of both knees at the same time. When the option of having both done was first presented, family and friends were obviously concerned about what recovery would look like. But I was impressed with my surgeon, Dr. Chris de Jesus. He was confident that I was a good candidate. And, more importantly, he reassured me by answering all of my questions before we moved forward. Every department worked together to ensure an integrated and collaborative approach. From first consultation, through surgery, physio and follow-up, I ended up having the most positive medical experience I’ve ever had.
A specialized Orthopedics clinic in our community is such a blessing. Even though its main focus will always be positive patient outcomes, it also helps to reduce the stress surgery puts on our caregivers. Because it is a local hospital, extended travel times are significantly reduced as are the costs of overnight stays in city centres. I’d call that a true win-win.
I will never take the gift I was given for granted. For anyone considering Orthopedics procedures, look no further than our local hospital. You won’t be disappointed.
Kelley Whitman-McKie & Campbell McKie
The Pembroke Regional Hospital has become a big part of our life in 2018. Both of us have for years been involved in the Pembroke / Petawawa community and have just always known that health care was here and part of what we took for granted.
In a desire to give back to the community Kelley became a member of the Foundation board for the hospital in 2017. A great fit for our business McKie Pools and Spas, we became involved in the Gala and supported other initiatives put on by the Foundation.
February 2018 saw our first of many direct contacts with the hospital. Campbell was brought to the Emergency room where he was treated with complications from the flu that developed into Endocarditis – infection that could affect his heart. Campbell experienced life in ICU, and on the medical floor before heading into Ottawa to the Heart Institute. A stroke and a valve replacement later – Campbell was back in Pembroke Regional Hospital – now experiencing the Rehab floor. Throughout all of this – the staff at the Pembroke Regional Hospital were spectacular. His care was first rate and Kelley, as a member of the Foundation board, was proud to be doing a small part to improve this great facility.
Summer rolls on – Campbell has a few more health challenges – but we take those in stride and continue with our daily routine. We continue to sing the praises of the wonderful Regional hospital and a suggestion is made that we put this in writing to profile our support for the Pembroke Regional Hospital. However, like most, we are busy moving on with life and nothing is completed.
While attending a conference for our business in Mexico (I know – great place for a conference) Campbell fell – and fractured his hip. After two long days and nights in two Mexican hospitals we are air lifted back to Ottawa and then HOME to the Pembroke Regional Hospital. Campbell now is on the surgical floor – the very area that we are working to improve with the Cutting Edge Campaign – Capital improvements to the hospital. Campbell is released just before Christmas – and he managed his walker around the Christmas tree. Happy to see the end of 2018—we made plans for New Years Eve – however back to the Hospital we went on December 28th with a fever and ultimately a virus/ dehydration that saw Campbell ringing in the New Year from a hospital bed.
2018 saw us experiencing 6 hospitals – in large cities and small – and without a doubt the Pembroke Regional Hospital was one of the best. While we don’t have every service here – which is understandable – and despite the challenges that hospitals are dealing with regarding cutbacks and demand for service – we are proud of the Pembroke Regional Hospital.
Having wonderful surgical staff in Pembroke allows the patient and their families to deal with medical issues close to home. Our inpatient surgical space needs to keep pace with the quality services that we now have available. 2019 will hopefully be a quieter year for the McKie family – hospital wise – however our desire to make a difference with the hospital – and specifically with the Cutting Edge Campaign – will definitely get a lot of our attention.
So I guess when asked to write a bit about our hospital experience – somehow I guess our story wasn’t complete – with another chapter to be completed.
We are fortunate as a community to have quality health care here. It’s important that we support our hospital and all efforts of fundraising that are held to make the Pembroke Regional Hospital the spot for families to access the very best care and services close to home.
When Keith Selle walked into the Foundation office, you would never have guessed he had a full knee replacement just 8 weeks ago. Mr. Selle was prepared to wait for his surgery in the city but with the opening of the Regional Orthopaedic program in January, his surgery and his recovery were fast forwarded.
“Although it was a big decision to have the surgery, the medical team from Dr. Radovanovic, to the nurses and anesthesiologists were amazing and I felt well informed and well prepared. We are so fortunate to have such expertise right in our own backyard.”
“All the follow-up appointments can be done right here at the Pembroke Regional Hospital, so what would have been a half day trip to Ottawa, is now a 15 minute appointment”, said Keith Selle. “Being able to have the surgery in Pembroke takes away the burden. I would like to say a special thank you to the surgical staff, nurses and the rehab unit for a job well done. Their efforts helped to procure a speedy recovery.”
Marie Mask, Capital Campaign Administrator at the Algonquin College in Pembroke, was the second patient to undergo surgery at Pembroke Regional Hospital’s new Orthopaedic wing. In September, Marie was assessed by the Queensway Carleton hospital and informed that she needed a partial knee replacement. Surprised by the news, Marie had to make a quick decision, especially when she found out there was availability to have it done at PRH in January. “It would have been a year long wait if they hadn’t opened the Orthopaedic wing in Pembroke”, Marie said.
After meeting Dr. Chris de Jesus, Marie felt reassured, as Dr. de Jesus’ specialty is knee surgery. Dr. de Jesus and his staff were wonderful and always pleasant. “I never worried if I had any questions. They were great in explaining everything to me.”
Marie stayed at the hospital a few days longer than planned post-surgery, due to sensitivity to narcotics. However, the rest of her recovery has been quicker than anticipated: she was able to return to work one month early, and right from the get-go, her knee felt bionic. It was such a dramatic improvement from before the surgery. Marie cannot thank the girls in rehab enough: “I looked forward to going to rehab twice a week.”
The other plus to having orthopaedics available in our community is the fact that any follow up can be done right here in Pembroke as well. “Before, you would have had to drive 2 hours for a 10 minute follow up appointment. Now it’s right in town!” Marie said. Not only does it save patients the time and money to travel back and forth, but travelling in a car post knee surgery can be quite uncomfortable.
The Pembroke Regional Hospital Foundation’s new Cutting Edge Campaign will be financing the new Orthopaedic equipment, and the second part of the Campaign will be modernizing the circa 1950 surgical in-patient rooms, including the Day Surgery area. The overhaul of our Surgical Patient Rooms will address the safety and functionality of the current rooms, which was welcome news to Marie.
When Marie first arrived at the hospital for the surgery, their only available beds were in the day surgery wing, which was quite packed and cramped. A semi-private room became available by the time the surgery was done, but there were still 4 patients sharing one bathroom. With help from the community via the Cutting Edge Campaign, the surgical patient rooms will be revamped, enhancing the patient experience post-surgery.
Marie highly recommends the orthopaedic program in Pembroke and tells future patients not to think twice about coming to Pembroke for orthopaedic surgery: “It was terrific!”
“I awoke with a terrible burning (sensation) in my hands and feet; they really hurt. We tried everything but when nothing helped the pain, we headed to the emergency department at PRH. I saw a couple of doctors, had a chest x-ray and blood taken (yuck).”
“The x-ray showed that I had pneumonia and my pain was a post viral arthralgia (joint pain).”
“The doctors suggested warm water soaks and that really helped me. I also had to take some bad tasting antibiotics but the good part was that I got to miss school; unfortunately I also had to miss hockey. I was so happy when the burning finally stopped. Two thumbs up to the great doctors and nurses who figured out my problem and thanks for calling when I was back home.”
In 2004, I suddenly lose the use of my right leg.
In 2004, my youngest in Grade 6, four children and a husband; life was extremely busy.
In 2004, I learned had Multiple Sclerosis.
This diagnosis was confirmed and made possible through an MRI.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is the “invisible” disease. A limp can be from a leg injury, if I don’t talk too much you will not notice the slurring of my words, pain management medication masks any pain, and I work from home so I can take breaks when needed. Our goal is to keep my life as stress free as possible to keep symptoms at bay.
I am blessed to have my family’s support.
For the last 11 years I receive an MRI every two years, with more scans in-between after a relapse of symptoms. An MRI of the brain and spine is the only method of identifying progression of MS in patients. The clinic at the Ottawa General Hospital is very excited to have an MRI in this area since a large number of their patient care is for people in the Champlain area.
I am very thankful for the support this cause received from people of our area. MRI’s, for me, have been scheduled between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. at several locations in Ottawa. Having this technology accessible and nearby is a tremendous leap forward. It removes the stress of getting to the appointment, and reduces the guilt that my husband is going to be exhausted the next day from being by my side.
My next MRI was in Pembroke – closer to home. It was a great experience; from the professional staff to the ease of travel, and time of the appointment.