Patient journeys tell our story

Joyce Branscombe was admitted to Richmond Hospital earlier this year. -
Joyce Branscombe was admitted to Richmond Hospital earlier this year.
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Patient journeys tell the powerful story of our hospital and our community of care.

From the exceptional medical and health care professionals who consistently go above and beyond, to the lifesaving equipment purchased with the support of our donors, every experience tells its own unique tale.

Joyce Branscombe is one such patient. When Joyce was admitted to Richmond Hospital earlier this year, she had no idea that the pain in her side actually required major surgery. Here is her story in her own words:

“I had no idea what was about to happen to me.

At 9:30 p.m. on March 1st, my husband took me to Richmond Hospital. I’d been having some pain in my right side for a few days, and even after a round of antibiotics, the pain was getting worse. I was admitted, and spent the night in the hospital, wondering what could be causing the pain.

As a Senior Licensing Officer for Richmond Health Services, I had worked inside Richmond Hospital for 5 years. I know how hard our health professionals work to provide the best possible care. That night, two years after my retirement, I found myself at Richmond Hospital again, seeing the hospital through new eyes – as a patient.

In the morning, I went for a CT scan and an ultrasound. It turned out I had an aortic aneurysm and I needed major surgery immediately. As an added complication, I would also need a kidney bypass for the surgery to be successful. Suddenly, I felt lost, even in such familiar surroundings.

Mindful of my concerns, my surgeon, Dr. Gordon Houston, took the time to clearly and carefully explain the procedure to me. His detailed explanation helped calm my nerves and made me feel more confident and informed. After the successful 6-hour surgery, I felt much better.

During the post-operative days I spent in the ICU, and then later on the 6th floor of the North Tower, the nurses continued to be understanding and kind. One of my anesthesiologists even came to check on me every day. The care of the staff was unparalleled.

Still, after working for so many years in the hospital, I know how much more is needed to provide quality care. Much of the advanced medical equipment at Richmond Hospital is funded by Richmond Hospital Foundation through the support of private donors. It’s always a struggle to balance the best care possible with the funds available. That’s why hospital staff and patients are so thankful for the donations from people in our community.

I had no idea when I went to the hospital that I’d be having major surgery, and spend days recovering in the ICU. Happily, the staff at Richmond Hospital was with me every step of the way – just like they’ll be here for you when you need them.

The stories of people like Joyce are what drive us to maintain a high standard of care for the people of Richmond. As we approach Thanksgiving, many of you will have received our fall direct mail appeal talking about our patient journeys and the needs of our hospital.

If you did not receive your direct mail copy and would like to learn more, please call us at 604-244-5252 or read our patient stories online at

Please give generously.

Natalie D. Meixner is president and CEO of Richmond Hospital Foundation. Her column will appear monthly in The Richmond Review. www.richmondhospitalfoun for info.

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