Patient Comfort Fund: Lucy’s Story
As a physiotherapist in Humber River Hospital’s Apotex Emergency Department, Karuna Goela knows first-hand that a simple act of kindness can turn someone’s whole day around. That’s why Karuna has been a vocal champion of our Emergency Department Patient Comfort Fund, which allows staff like her to ensure that patients who arrive in our Emergency Department (ED) can have their most basic needs met.
Recently, Karuna has gotten to know Lucy, a 73 year old patient who has been in and out of the ED for the past several months with terrible chronic nerve pain. Lucy also has a history of anxiety and suffers from gastrointestinal irritation from her Crohn’s disease.
“The pandemic has been hard for my mom, who hasn’t been able to keep up with her medical care and physiotherapy at home as much as she needs to be,” says Lucy’s son Josh. “In the past few months, her nerve pain has been so severe that she keeps ending up in Emergency, and the pandemic has meant I can’t always be there with her.”
During Lucy’s most recent visit, Karuna was assessing her when she realized that Lucy had not had anything to eat in over eight hours since arriving at the Hospital. She was restless, hungry, and distressed, and didn’t know what to do about food.
“Like many patients who come through the ED, Lucy didn’t have her things with her, including her dentures, and was extremely anxious,” says Karuna. “So I offered her an Ensure and a chicken noodle soup from Tim Hortons, which I was able to purchase using our Patient Comfort Fund.”
Lucy was overjoyed to see her favourite soup. When Josh reunited with his mom at Humber, he was relieved to hear that Karuna had been able to give her that extra care.
“My first thought was wow… I couldn’t believe that something like this fund existed,” says Josh. “It’s really isolating to be at the hospital without family. My mom was feeling so low, and Karuna really brightened her day.”
“Honestly, all I saw in that moment was her anxiety leave her body,” says Karuna. “It made my heart smile. As a staff member, the Patient Comfort Fund is a great resource that has allowed me to provide my patients with more holistic care.”
Lucy ended up staying at Humber River Hospital for three weeks before being transferred to a rehabilitation facility.
“She just got home. It has been an adjustment seeing her with a walker but she is just so happy to be back,” says Josh. “We want to thank all of her healthcare workers who made her feel so comfortable at the Hospital and the donors who support the Patient Comfort Fund – you’re helping people without even knowing their situation. You’re helping people like my mom who need support. Thank you!”
Thank you to everyone who has supported The Patient Comfort Fund so far! Donate today to help us keep it going.