“If you’re going to be sick, you want to be sick at home.”


An image of Kerri and Chris Fryia smiling

Kerri Fryia stayed beside her husband, Chris, from the day he got his cancer diagnosis until the day he passed away. Throughout that time, Chris received outstanding care close to his family and support system. This simply would not have been possible without the donations from local people to Sault Area Hospital Foundation.


“Listen, I think it’s cancer.”


In October 2018, Chris Fryia was experiencing serious stomach pain. He'd had issues in the past, and knew he should get it checked out, so he made a trip to the Emergency Department at Sault Area Hospital.


After performing an ultrasound scan of Chris' abdomen, Dr. Steven Bodnar sat down with the couple and broke the news. The ultrasound had found a mass, and it didn’t look good.


Things moved quickly after that. Chris received a diagnosis of prostate cancer. His doctors were initially optimistic – while it was incurable, it was treatable. They hoped that this would be something he could live with. And for 2.5 years, he did.


Kerri, who was beside her husband Chris throughout his care, was impressed with our local hospital. “From the very beginning, the cancer clinic felt very comfortable and safe. The people were kind and caring. His team was fantastic.”


Chris had monthly treatments. He underwent regular tests – bloodwork, CT scans, and x-rays. Between all of his appointments, it seemed like he was at SAH at least once every couple weeks.


From the very beginning, the cancer clinic felt very comfortable and safe. The people were kind and caring. His team was fantastic.

- Kerri Fryia


During that time, Kerri was able to focus on the positives in their experience. “It’s so often you hear the horrible stories – people complain before they compliment. Anytime Chris was in the hospital over the years, his care was exceptional. The care team was knowledgeable, and went to bat for him. The housekeepers would talk to him. They made him feel like one of the family.”


Community support ensured Chris could receive care close to home.


Local support brought the Cancer Care program to Sault Area Hospital just over a decade ago, so fewer patients need to travel for treatment. Donations to SAHF have funded critical equipment for Sault Area Hospital: from the ultrasound device that first detected Chris’ cancer, to equipment in our lab that monitored the progress of his treatment.


Thanks to local donors, Chris received life-sustaining treatments close to his home and support system. According to Kerri, this made all the difference: “It’s so much better if you can be at home, going through this.”


Chris passed away in July of 2021 surrounded by his family, in his home community of Sault Ste. Marie. For the Fryias, having access to outstanding local care meant more time together when that time was most precious. Donors to SAHF made that possible.


Kerri felt it was a "no brainer" to gave back


Kerri wanted to thank the people who had, "stuck out, in a good way." She made a Grateful Patient gift recognizing 10 staff members across the hospital. Those staff members received recognition, a card expressing her gratitude, and a pin to wear on their lanyards acknowledging her thanks. Her gift will go on to help provide new medical equipment that will care for future patients at SAH.


You can recognize a caregiver and ensure future patients continue to receive outstanding care at Sault Area Hospital. Find out more about the Grateful Patient program at sahfoundation.com/grateful


 

You can keep families like the Fryias together during treatment. Make outstanding care possible. Donate to SAHF today.



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