The Heart of the Community
Andre & Shirley Desroches

The Heart of the Community

Shirley Desroches was at her volunteer job when she got a message saying her husband had called and wasn’t feeling well.

“I dropped everything when I saw the message,” Shirley recalls. “It was very unlike Andre. I came right home and saw Andre sitting in a chair. One look and I knew something was very wrong.  I called 911 right away and we were taken to Georgian Bay General.”

“I can’t really remember everything that happened when we arrived,” continues Shirley. “It’s all a bit of a blur, but they stabilized Andre and did tests that confirmed that he had suffered a heart attack. Andre was being transferred to Southlake (the regional heart centre at the time) when all of a sudden they must have seen something in his tests and someone ran out to the ambulance to check on Andre one more time, before banging the doors shut and yelling “GO” to the driver. I knew it was critical and we obviously had to hurry.”

Once arriving at Southlake, it was determined that Andre had three blocked arteries in his heart and he had stents put in to remove the blockages. Several days later, Andre was released from the hospital and today he has made a full recovery, spending time with his family and working on their 25-acre maple syrup farm.

And while the family is deeply grateful for the care that they received at both hospitals, they credit the fast actions of the team at Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) for saving Andre’s life.

“There’s no doubt about it. It was a matter of life and death. And GBGH saved Andre’s life,” says Shirley.

Thanks to the support of caring donors in our community, Georgian Bay General Hospital is there for patients like Andre, when they need it most.  Community support makes our exceptional care possible and we are deeply grateful for your generosity. Yet there will be many more patients who will be turning to GBGH in the coming year.

Even before the Desroches needed GBGH, they understood the importance of supporting their community hospital. “The hospital is the heart of our community,” says Shirley, on why she and Andre have been loyal donors for many years. “People need to realize the value of having a good hospital in your community. And good doctors. We’re fortunate to have both and we’re thankful for the care Andre received.”

Thank you for making inspiring stories like Andre’s possible. Because of caring people like you, Shirley and Andre have been able to spend “55 beautiful years” together and they are eagerly looking forward to spending the upcoming holidays with their daughter, son-in-law and three granddaughters.

Your generosity is the strength behind our care and we are deeply grateful to you, during this special time of year and always, for your kindhearted giving.

Your holiday gift today will DOUBLE in impact to help even more families this holiday season.  The Desroches family and Abadir (Alex) Nasr, owner of Guardian Pharmacy Elmvale and Clinic IDA Pharmacy Midland, have each made a commitment to match your gift, dollar-for-dollar up to $25,000*, to go twice as far to help patients and families in your community.

It will help purchase essential tools like Telemetry Packs, IV Infusion Pumps and other critically needed equipment. It will help expand programs and provide ongoing staff education. And it will help GBGH care for 55,000 full-time residents and more than 150,000 seasonal residents and visitors during the summer months.

Heart Ornament

When you make a gift to our holiday appeal it would be our honour to write your name (or the name of a loved one) on a heart ornament on the Christmas tree in the hospital lobby to show your support this holiday season. Please fill out the Tribute Box in the form below with your name, or the name of the person you would like to dedicate your heart to.

Thank you and all the best to you and your family for a bright, happy and healthy holiday!

*Desroches family $5,000 and Abadir (Alex) Nasr, owner of Guardian Pharmacy Elmvale and Clinic IDA Pharmacy Midland $20,000