HOTEL DIEU SHAVER FOUNDATION
Hotel Dieu Shaver Foundation kicked-off their Snowflakes & Angels Christmas Campaign last week (November 16) with an intimate tree lighting ceremony. Chuck Blair, former patient, was joined by his family as he “flipped the switch” that illuminated the tree on the grounds of Hotel Dieu Shaver.
Preparing for major heart surgery was plenty of stress for Chuck Blair, but what he didn’t expect was coming home 6 months later with no legs.
Chuck’s story starts back in February 2022 when he was given a blood thinner during open heart surgery that caused his blood to clot. This devastating drug reaction triggered many severe blood clots in his legs, lungs and brain – leaving Chuck in a coma for two months. As a last resort to save his life, Chuck received a double leg amputation.
Chuck’s year and a half long journey to rehabilitation began when he arrived at Hotel Dieu Shaver in June 2022. Chuck says he felt like a “shell of a man” when he arrived. Having lost over 100 pounds including most of his muscle mass, he had little strength and virtually no independence.
With the incredible team at HDS guiding & encouraging him, and the constant support of his wife Nancy, family, friends & faith, it didn’t take long for Chuck to see improvements. “I was so happy to be in such a positive and uplifting place. I knew hard work was ahead of me, but I was in the best hands.”
Over the next six weeks, Chuck participated in every therapy HDS had to offer, including building his upper body strength and teaching him how to transfer from his bed to wheelchair. His goal was to prepare his legs for prosthetics, a process that began in the fall of 2022.
Today, Chuck continues to receive outpatient therapy at HDS as he works with his prosthetic legs to regain his range of motion. He has modified his work and home, and is happy to be driving his car once again! “I’m doing well, and I expect to continue to do well to the point where one day I can walk around normally like I did before.”
Chuck is just one of the hundreds of patients who have received specialized care and rehabilitation at HDS this past year. Many who have had to rebuild their lives after a life-changing event, devastating disease, or challenging injury.
We have illuminated the grounds of Hotel Dieu Shaver to shine a light on the exemplary care being provided to our patients and their loved ones. Each donation made to the Snowflakes & Angels Campaign honours or remembers a loved one, with a light illuminated on the Hotel Dieu Shaver grounds. These sparkling, bright lights represent the love of a community who comes together during this special season to make a difference in the lives of our patients.
Donations received from the Snowflakes & Angels Christmas Campaign fund the purchase of priority patient care equipment that is not funded by the government. Funds raised this year will purchase new beds and specialty mattresses. A comfortable and safe bed is vital to a patient's healthcare journey. With the average hospital stay being 22 days for the High Intensity Rehab Program and 61 days for Short-Term Complex Medical Management, it is vital that patients at HDS have the most comfortable and safest bed available.
Community members are invited to make a donation to the Snowflakes & Angels Christmas Campaign in honour or celebration of someone they cherish. Donations can be made by visiting www.SnowflakesandAngels.ca or calling 905-378-HDSF (4373). Donations of $50 or more, received on or before January 5th, will be published in the newspaper on January 13th.
Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Foundation raises and manages funds for patient-care equipment, education, specialty programs, and improvements to treatment areas to support exemplary patient care at Hotel Dieu Shaver, Niagara’s Only Rehabilitation Hospital.