Critical Care: “Humber saved my dad’s life.”
Two years ago, 83 year old Domingos left his house.
This wasn’t uncommon for him. Even though Domingos was beginning to show signs of dementia, he would always reliably go to the park or to the local bakery and back.
This time, to the distress of his daughter Maria and son-in-law Jack, he never returned home.
Over the course of the next five days, 160 family members, friends, neighbours, and police officers helped look for him with no luck.
“It was so traumatic,” remembers Maria.
Finally they caught a break: a local business had security footage from a few days earlier of Domingos walking down their street. The police officers used that footage to find him.
Domingos had fallen and was trapped between a highway fence and the retaining wall, with no access to food or water, wearing only shorts and slippers for several days.
He was rushed to Humber River Hospital in critical condition, where his family was reunited with him.
“His eyes were closed,” says Jack. “We just watched him lying there breathing.”
His doctors concluded Domingos had likely had a stroke. His kidneys were only functioning at 25% and he was severely dehydrated. They put him on life support and moved him to the ICU for 6 days. His daughter Maria stayed with him on the sleeper chair in his room, day and night.
“Humber stands out to me not only because they saved my dad’s life, but because of how everyone treated us,” says Maria. “Everyone was so sweet. They would encourage me to go home and rest, even though I had such a hard time leaving him.”
“Humber brought him back to life,” says Jack.
Domingos still lives at home with Jack and Maria, with Maria responsible for much of his care. When the team at Humber River Hospital noticed how tired Maria was they arranged for two personal support workers, Thato and Christina, to come twice a week to help Maria with Domingos’ care.
The family also recently welcomed a companion puppy for Domingos – a cockapoo named Bobby who at 12 weeks old already knows his job and stays close to Domingos.
It’s a relief for Maria and Jack that Humber River Hospital is there if her family needs it. Earlier this year when Domingos had another medical emergency, pulmonary aspiration, the family credits Humber River Hospital for saving his life again.
“My mom died when I was young and my dad raised me,” says Maria. “I do my best for him because he did his best for me.”
Domingos’ family were incredibly grateful for the care they received from everyone at Humber River Hospital. They specifically asked us to mention Dr. Garret Pulle, Dr. Jamie Spiegelman, Lisa on Level 9, Vicki and Sharon on the Level 12 Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) unit, and their social worker Paula. “I’m blessed to have Humber,” says Maria. “Everyone from the porters to the cleaners to the nurses to the doctors were amazing to our family.”