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"They said I was lucky. I caught it in time."

Fay Beaton was glad to be living in Sault Ste. Marie when she needed care.


It was spring of 2021 when Fay first found a lump in her breast.


With the COVID-19 pandemic in its third wave, Fay was worried. She had heard rumours about care being delayed and cancelled in other parts of the province. What would this mean for her?


Not knowing what to expect, Fay contacted her Nurse Practitioner. Within 10 days she'd had a mammogram, two ultrasounds and a biopsy. Soon it was confirmed: the lump was cancer, and Fay needed surgery.


Fortunately for Fay, she was in Sault Ste. Marie. Throughout the pandemic, Sault Area Hospital remains committed to providing critical surgeries, including cancer surgeries. Fay's care team recognized her need for timely care, and quickly scheduled her surgery. On May 4th, she had the lump removed.


Fay had only moved back to Sault Ste. Marie a few years ago, from Southern Ontario, but she was grateful to be here when she needed care. "If I were there, I might still be waiting for surgery."


Fay will still need radiation treatment, medication, and follow-up care, but her care team thinks her cancer was contained, and that they got it all.



Fay counts herself lucky in more ways than one that she's been able to get care at SAH.


As a retired social worker, Fay values relationships. "The personal touch of everyone I met really stood out," she said. "When I first had my biopsy, a staff member overheard my daughter and I talking, and stopped us, asking if we minded him interrupting. He gave us some good advice about using an ice pack to manage the pain - he didn't have to go out of his way, but he did. That's the kind of people that work at this hospital."


Local donations provided the equipment that made Fay's care outstanding.


From the brand new surgical table that was used during Fay's operation, down to the "vein finder" light that a Hematologist used to help make Fay's blood draw less of a hassle - these tools help make our caregivers jobs easier so they can focus on making patients like Fay feel comfortable.


The vein finder made a special impression on Fay, who has had trouble with blood work in the past. Not only were the care team excited to use this tool with her, but they were glad to explain how it worked, and how it would help. "They're really proud, these people," said Fay. Proud of their work, their tools, and our hospital. Donors should be proud too - for the role community gifts play in making outstanding care possible for patients like Fay.


 

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