A Langley Life Well Lived
Doris McQuarrie was born in Moosejaw, Saskatchewan in 1920 and spent her childhood in Calgary. When she was 21 years old, she joined the Women’s Air Corp (WAC) of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Upon completion of her service in 1946, she moved to Vancouver and began a 19-year career with Revenue Canada.
In 1965, Doris moved to the Fraser Valley and, with her close friend and business partner, Frances Pendelton, bought a 4.4 acre farm in Langley. Together, they built the modern and fully-automated “Henny Penny” poultry farm. This enterprise drew national media attention because Doris and Frances were “women farmers”, a rarity of the times.
In her later years, Doris had numerous health concerns including Crohn’s disease and heart problems and these restricted her ability to work on the farm. She passed away peacefully on November 30, 2009 at home. Doris chose to remember Langley Memorial Hospital in her will as a way to express her gratitude for the care and support she received during her life. Doris’ legacy gift will make a meaningful difference—strengthening the Hospital and improving the lives of those who turn to us for care—for generations to come.
Husband, father, grandfather
I recently saw a handwritten note with a message that concerns me…and you. Allow me to share my sticky-note story and to invite you to join me to do something about it.
Over the past 30 years, my family and I have visited Langley Memorial Hospital on many occasions. My most recent visit was on December 11, 2013, when I found myself in the Emergency Department.
That day started as any other day. I was at work un-crating a light fixture at my shop. All of a sudden, blood started to gush from my nose. I could not get the bleeding to stop so I drove over to Glover Medical Centre. Dr. Matthews and the team there worked on me for quite some time; my blood pressure was climbing. When it reached 250/145, and the bleeding persisted, they called for an ambulance. On the road, I heard the paramedic radio the hospital: We are en route with a critical case. We’re 10 minutes out. I had been bleeding profusely for more than an hour. When I arrived at the hospital and the doors of the ambulance swung open, my wife and daughter were standing on the other side. She took one look at me and turned white onhealthy wellbutrin like a sheet of paper. I thought: This is it. I am dying.
What happened next felt like a scene in a movie: I was on the stretcher being wheeled down the hallway as, all around me, doctors and nurses were gathering information about my condition. My stretcher came to a stop behind a curtain. I turned my head to one side and looked at a monitor. There was a sticky note on it that read:
Please do not use. Only works 50% of the time.
I looked at ‘my’ machine. There was no note on it. Thank goodness!
I was well cared for by the skilled medical staff at the medical centre and at the hospital. My heart is filled with gratitude, but I am worried about the message on that sticky note. You see, I work in the electrical business. My training as an electrician is important, but I can only perform to the level of my tools.
The medical teams at the hospital in our community are highly trained, competent and caring, and they rely on their tools to do their job for us. Those tools must be in good working condition, only then can the medical experts accurately and effectively detect, diagnose and treat patients like you and me.
After that December visit to the ER, I visited Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation and made a donation to say “thank you” for the wonderful care I received. While there, I learned that there is quite a long Priority Equipment List for our hospital. I was not surprised to learn that there are monitors on that list, along with other vital tools. I, personally, would like to see that list wiped clean. And no more sticky notes on monitors. No more “works 50% of the time” problems for our medical experts.
And I don’t think I am alone.
I believe that many of us in the community, if made aware and if given the opportunity, would direct our charitable giving to help ensure that the doctors and nurses — the people who treat our cancers and our kidney stones, who stop the bleeding, and who re-set our bones and re-start our hearts — have access to leading-edge equipment that is in good working condition — 100 % of the time.
I don’t know of many people who have the resources to fund the Priority Equipment List singlehandedly, but I am confident that, together, we can make that list a lot shorter!
Will you help make the Priority Equipment List shorter?