From Grateful Patient to Aspen Grove Society: John and Brenda’s Story

March 2, 2022

John and Brenda Bradlow

John Bradlow couldn’t believe the difference. Within a day from his second knee replacement surgery at Humber River Hospital, he was walking without the use of a cane.

His surgeon, Dr. Sebastian Rodriguez-Elizalde, told him to expect this, but John was skeptical, having had his other knee replaced by the same doctor at the same hospital four years prior.

So what was the difference? John’s second knee was operated on with the assistance of ROSA, a surgical robot.

His wife, Brenda, who was by his side through it all, noticed the incredible difference too.

“I was struck when John came home after the second surgery. I was all ready to help him, support him, and help him walk, but within a day he was not using a walker or cane,” Brenda said. “The general care from the beginning to end, everybody at the Hospital – the surgeons and staff were wonderful to deal with and it makes a difference.”

The Importance of Funding for Robotics

John has developed a strong and deep connection to Humber because of the personal care he’s received.

“Both knee replacements gave me the opportunity to experience the outstanding care that I believe the Hospital provides,” John said. “That is the entire Hospital, not just the surgical team, but also the nursing care and the general efficiency with which things were managed.”

Due to the profound difference in recovery from his first knee replacement surgery and his second, John and Brenda wanted to learn more about the innovative technology that changed his life.

A few months ago, they attended Humber’s robotics showcase and were surprised to learn that currently the government does not fully fund robotics. This is where donors come in. Realizing that they were in a position to give back to Humber, John and Brenda both made the decision to support the Hospital by contributing on an annual basis, but to also leave a gift in their Wills.

This makes them part of the Aspen Grove Society, Humber River Hospital Foundation’s legacy giving program.

“It made me realize the importance of donors to hospitals like Humber River,” Brenda said.

From Grateful Patient to Aspen Grove Society

John and Brenda made the decision to leave a gift in their Wills as it was his personal experiences that motivated them to give back to Humber River Hospital, but also the hope that the donations will help other people have the same experience as well.

“We would like to support other people so that they have the same life-enhancing experience that John had,” Brenda said. “John’s a very active person and he is now able to be as fully active as he was before his surgeries. It’s wonderful to see and we would like to share that experience and opportunity with others.”

John added that living in Canada for 45 years after immigrating from South Africa also factored into their decision.

“Canada has been very good to us. We’ve had an excellent life here, and we’ve become reasonably prosperous, and we are grateful to the country for providing us with opportunities. We think in our Wills particularly, not just the annual giving, is appropriate that we provide something back.”

Learn More About Aspen Grove Society Today!

To learn more about joining the Aspen Grove Society by including Humber in your Will, click here or contact Caterina Magisano, Director Leadership & Legacy Philanthropy, at to get started!

Humber River Hospital Foundation would like to thank John and Brenda Bradlow for sharing their story with us.