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"I hate to say it, but I actually had fun!"

After a couple urgent trips to Sault Area Hospital, John Santana has been "blown away" by his outstanding experiences.

A lifelong athlete, John Santana is quick to acknowledge: "Life and sport involve risk. Accidents happen."

In Spring of 2019 he tore a ligament in his hand. Then in December of 2020 he broke his ankle. Both injuries meant trips to the Emergency Department and Operating Room, at SAH.

"The first time, I was completely blown away by how professional, efficient, incredibly thorough and kind everybody was. From the moment I went in until the final rehab appointment."

John Santana at SAHF's 2020 "Ski the Trials" Fundraiser

John's care team made a point of understanding what was important to him with his recovery. Though he needed to wear a cast on his hand, he still wanted to be able to ride his bike. After talking to his doctor, John brought his handlebars to his follow-up visit so they could form the cast around them.

John's second visit involved some new elements: an overnight stay during a pandemic. Thanks to his wonderful nurses, John said he felt like he was staying at "the Sault Area Four Seasons."

The only other major difference he noticed? "Just the [screening] check-in and having to wear a mask. You could see they were taking precautions with plexiglass barriers, and masks and cleaning - it felt very thorough. But I didn't feel any pressure or tension. I wasn't nervous; I felt really comfortable."

John said it was his experience with sporting events that gave him a new appreciation for the care at SAH.

"When an event goes smoothly, it's because a lot of people behind the scenes did a lot of work. They had to organize and think out all the little details. The more work that went into it, the smoother it goes. So when I was in the hospital, how smoothly everything went from being admitted to leaving caught my eye. Especially with COVID, there must be so much work happening to keep things running so well."

Local support helped make John's experiences at SAH so smooth.

Having the right tools makes a huge impact on how smoothly procedures go. Behind the scenes during John's surgery, our OR Integration software was delivering his chart, x-rays and lab results to his surgeon while they worked. Tools like this make things easier, so less energy goes into managing the equipment and more energy goes into the experience. Community gifts make it possible for us to bring these tools into our hospital!

While John has a cast on his foot this winter, he is working with his care team to find the quickest path back to his active lifestyle. With some physiotherapy at SAH, and some time, John should be back on the ski trails again soon.


Local gifts support patients at Sault Area Hospital. Give to SAH Foundation today.




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