Since my daughter Pamela's passing from complications of Multiple Sclerosis and for half of that period, time had stopped for me. My grieving had turned me into a recluse, distancing myself from both family and friends. I refused to answer phone calls and definitely refused to see anyone. Unable and unwilling to leave my home for the longest time, I began self medicating with food and not the healthy kind.This provided me with the comfort I so desperately sought, or so I thought. I lost all ability to focus or concentrate and gained 20 pounds from my medicinal junk food. I was convinced that I would never be able to rejoin the land of the living.

One morning, while clutching Pammie's picture, I experienced my first “aha” moment.She had always been so strong and brave and optimistic throughout her entire illness. She had captivated all those around her with her beautiful spirit, bright smile, contagious laugh and unfailing sense of humour. I was so sure that she was looking down at me displeased with my defeatist attitude. Her strength and positivity were qualities inherited from both me and my husband and I prayed for that buried courage to resurface.I realized that if I wanted to honour Pammie's memory, I had to embrace what I had and not focus on what I didn't.

Reflecting over the last year of her life at Mount Sinai, Pammie's love for the Recreology department- with its activities and outings that she adored and so happily anticipated, was the guiding factor towards my next step. I would become a volunteer, if accepted, and thus fulfill a dual purpose. I was hoping this would be instrumental towards my healing and at the same time be of assistance to the department and residents. This seemed to be a win-win situation! However, the first day back on the 4th floor, escorting the patients to the scheduled activity, brought a weakness throughout my entire core. Was it too soon to be here or was it even the right decision to be here at all? All anxiety immediately disappeared through the kindness of words from the staff and from the smiles of the residents and I'm sure a nudge from my daughter.

I am now volunteering twice a week and my husband has now joined me. The gratification we derive of being able to give back to the facility which so enriched Pammie's last days is immeasurable.

Although our family chain is broken and our hearts ache everyday without her, Pammie's memory continues to live very strongly inside us all. We will try to continue her legacy of good deeds and in doing so hope to further honour her beloved memory. Heartfelt thanks to Carol Steadman for her compassion and devotion and for providing us with that opportunity.
 
Date of Posting: 11 February 2015
Posted By: Linda Iannacci
My Stay at the Mount Sinai Hospital Center was an amazing, life changing experience, I crawled in there like a caterpillar and the day I left I flew like a butterfly. Every person I encountered wanted the best for me, I felt surrounded by positive helpful people. I will never forget what I was given there, a new lease on life . I use everything I was taught every day and I'm doing so much better than I or anyone else in my family and circle of friends ever thought I could do .I will never forget anyone I met there and as I go on living my life I will always remember Mount Sinai . I only wish more people could go there and receive what I was given.
Thank you Mount Sinai for everything.
Linda Hey
 
Date of Posting: 11 February 2015
Posted By: Mrs. Linda Hey
Good Morning Mrs. Bank, I am sending you a note in order to give you my opinion about your institution where I stayed from the 9th to the 30th of December 2008.

First of all, Mrs. Aline is not simply a secretary, but a high level ambassador, very polite, well dressed, always smiling and very well versed.

The doctors and all the hospital staff are kind, polite and very respectful to every patient.

The hospital food is delicious, hot and sustaining, Bravo to the Chefs!

The cleanliness of this hospital is the pride of Quebec.

The beds are very comfortable, and the linen is always clean.

The décor, the choice of colours and furniture were designed by people with good taste.

The Coffee and Gift Shops are very well kept and run by people with high standards.

The security is very effective and serious, which is a comfort for all of us.

The diversity and harmony of the many cultures of your hospital are the dream of all people.

I would like to thank the Jewish Community of Quebec for their contributions and actions which are always geared for the well being of everyone.

Thank you very much for everything.

Jean Pierre Demers
P.S. Enclosed please find my donation, which I hope to give every year.
 
Date of Posting: 11 February 2015
Posted By: Jean Pierre Demers
Dear Auxiliary,

Since the very first moment I stepped foot into this office, I knew that there was something special about this place. Everyone welcomed me with open arms and got me excited about the prospect of joining this family. The spirit that exists here (the smiling faces, constant joking, laughing, and overall sense of contentment to contribute) brings it alive and transforms it into far more than a typical place of employment. From the get-go, the enthusiasm and dedication to enhancing the lives of Mount Sinai patients and residents providing them with comfort and dignity, was contagious, and I was bitten by the bug. I feel honored to be here, where I have the privilege of working amongst inspiring, wonderful, dedicated individuals from whom I have so much to learn.

It is hard to put into words the respect and admiration I feel towards you, our volunteers, who work tirelessly until the job is done. Unlike many others, who would refuse to give of themselves without recognition or financial benefits, you work for the sheer benefit of helping others, and that is truly remarkable. You make up the lifeblood of this organization and without you, many of the smiles and laughs I have seen and heard from the patients here, thanks to the wonderful programs and events we finance, would never have existed. The work that you do for us provides patients with the opportunity to truly live their lives enjoying the simple pleasures it has to offer, such as the sun on their face in the beautiful garden, or the sense of tradition and togetherness brought about by the music and prayers of Oneg Shabbat.

You are an inspiration to us all,
 
Date of Posting: 11 February 2015
Posted By: Erica Leibner
I am writing to express how pleased I was with the care I received while a patient at Mount Sinai Hospital. From the day I entered the Mount Sinai Hospital until the day I left, my experience was only positive.

The staff at the center was attentive, kind and compassionate. They took wonderful care of me and were always optimistic about my progress. They ensured that I had everything I needed and no request was ever denied. The doctors were superb! They were professional, patient and caring. I would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. N. Wolkove for being there when I needed him the most.

Before long, I was feeling better and I knew I was stronger. Much of my progress was a result of the physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory care and rehabilitation therapy. I received which eventually allowed me the ability to return home. In addition to all the terrific therapies I received, I also enjoyed sitting outside in the garden and relaxing, the entertainments, and the specialized programs that I frequently attended.

Although I was thrilled to be able to go home, I was sad to leave my new friends, both patients and staff, and the wonderful and healing environment.

I can’t thank the Mount Sinai Hospital enough for improving the quality of my life. I will be forever grateful for the wonderful care I received during my stay.

Sincerely, P. Werner
 
Date of Posting: 05 June 2014
Posted By: P. Werner
Today is my special day – 18 years of volunteering at Mount Sinai. I’m sure most of you must realize my feelings by now, I was a good broadcaster!

I feel very blessed to be part of this amazing team, and hope to continue until I won’t be able to, you might want to get rid of me?

I started in Recreology & then moved up to the 4th floor, to be a secretary as well as working with the patients in a music group & other activities. After that I became involved with Palliative. To my friends & family it was very unbelievable, it was for me as well. I remember the first few times I would come home & lock myself in the bedroom & ask my wonderful husband not to disturb me unless it was an emergency. However I did get over the trauma because of this great group who were there to encourage me and always made me feel that I was part of the team. I learned a great deal from them. I want to thank you all for helping me to celebrate this very special day.

Lily Flamer
 
Date of Posting: 14 November 2012
Posted By: Lily Flamer
Today, July 25th, 2012, I took my first unassisted steps. It has been 2.5 years since I lost my ability to walk and today my hope to walk again has become more of a reality. With my physiotherapist Julie by my side, I walked the corridors of the 1st and 3rd floor at Mt. Sinai.

Shortly after my second brain surgery, I lost feeling in my left arm and leg. In November 2011 I was admitted into Mt. Sinai with the hope that I would build up my strength and regain use of my arm and leg. Having been bedridden for over a year at home, I knew that the only way to resume a normal life would be to be admitted into Mt. Sinai where the professional medical and physiotherapy team could work hand in hand to rehabilitate me. Every day I pray that I will one day walk again and that the cancer remain in remission. I miss my family and home terribly; however I know that only hard work and dedication could give me my life back.

The last 8 months have been grueling and I cry every day that I want to go home. It is the continuous support and encouragement from the doctors, nurses, physiotherapy team and support staff that keep me motivated. My physiotherapists, Julie, Stephanie and Shaun, have become like family and truly care for my well being. They, along with other patients, cheer me on with every step I take. When first admitted, I could hardly lift my left leg, and now I am taking steps.

I always said I could not leave this earth until I have left my footsteps. When other patients come up to me and tell me how I inspire them and give them the strength to not to give up, I am so proud of myself. I know that continuing to fight this battle is truly making a difference. They tell me one step at a time will help me achieve my goal. I will continue to work extremely hard every single day until I am strong enough to walk.

Dr. Golda and Dr. Romano have been there for me throughout this battle to share my many tears and frustration and to encourage me to keep on working hard and never give up. Without their support and kind reassuring words, I would have fallen apart over and over again.

I look forward to the day I walk myself out of Mt. Sinai hospital and back to my home and family. I do however have every intention to return to Mt. Sinai as a volunteer, to provide support and encouragement to those who need it.

With all the professional help I am receiving and the love and support of my family and wonderful friend s, I know I will beat this disease and reach my goal to walk again soon.
 
Date of Posting: 25 July 2012
Posted By: Jackie Wenger

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