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Learning to Believe

An older woman with a stylish short blonde hair cut wearing a houndstooth and red striped dress.

Three years ago, Ramona Anthony couldn’t move her arm. She couldn’t sit up. She couldn’t walk.  She’d suffered a devastating stroke and the left side of her body was paralyzed when she arrived at the Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) Emergency Department.

When Ramona, a mother of four and grandmother of eight, first arrived at GBGH, she was terrified that she would never get the opportunity to hold or bathe her newly born grandchild again.

Thankfully she immediately found the expert care and reassurance she needed in Dr. Ty Hervieux. “I’ll never forget Dr. Ty’s words,” says Ramona. “He asked me if I wanted the good news and I responded affirmatively. He told me the good news was that I was speaking to him and that I could fix the rest. That was the best news ever and just what I needed to hear. It gave me the will to win.”

“It was without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever done. I remember the sweat dripping from my face as I willed my thumb to move and when it did, I knew that with a lot of work, Dr. Ty was right and I could and would re-learn how to walk,” says Ramona.

And she did. Ramona quickly graduated from a wheelchair to a walker and just a few weeks later, she was able to go home with her sister, where she continued intensive outpatient rehab.

But she’ll never forget the compassion and kindness she experienced at GBGH.

“The hospital staff became like family to me,” says Ramona. “And even though I can’t remember all their names, I won’t ever forget their kindness. There was one wonderful nurse who found me crying on the therapeutic patio in my wheelchair one night and she changed her rounds to ensure that each night she would bring my medication last, to give me extra time to just listen and provide me with much-needed assurance. I truly felt that she was an angel sent straight from above.”

After Ramona’s stroke, she had the word “Believe” tattooed on the inside of her right wrist as a reminder that she could do it. This poignant reminder – and our community’s generosity – helped get her through the most difficult time of her life.

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