I’ll always wonder if the outcome might have been different.
My mom, Kathy Soepboer, passed away on March 14, 2016. I am sharing her story with you today because I found out first-hand how important it is to bring a Computed TOMography (CT) scanner to Saugeen Shores. It will help to save lives and spare other families the grief our family endured – and the future memories we’ll never make.
My mom was one of the happiest people I knew. She was warm, caring and outgoing. Everyone trusted her and confided in her. She simply made friends wherever she went.
My parents operated a seasonal business and had just returned home from Florida that March morning. Just after grocery shopping, Mom texted me saying, “I think I’m having a stroke.” I tried calling but couldn’t reach her. I drove to the house, but no one was there. I rushed to the hospital.
Mom was in the Emergency Department.
Mom had an excruciating headache, sensitivity to light, and was extremely nauseous. The doctors suspected a migraine but conducted further testing. While she was taken for a chest x-ray, one of the doctors came to tell us she had suddenly stopped responding. At that point, they were doing everything they could to keep her alive. The doctors now suspected a brain bleed that would require a CT scan to confirm. Mom needed to be intubated and transferred to Owen Sound.
It’s only through local support that Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation is able to purchase critical equipment necessary to ensure outstanding health care. Right now, patients like my mom need immediate access to diagnostic tools. So, we turn to you with an urgent request to help us purchase a Computed TOMography (CT) scanner that could save lives and speed up crucial diagnoses. Please consider joining our family of supporters with a special gift today to bring this life-saving equipment close to home.
CT scans produce 2-dimensional images that are “slices” or sections of the body. These high-quality images may be used to diagnose and monitor a variety of internal conditions such as blood. clots, ruptured aneurysms, tumours, injuries or bleeding, as well as other serious and non-life-threating conditions.
Critical time was lost.
Mom was unconscious during the 45-minute ambulance ride to Owen Sound. The CT scan confirmed a brain bleed and Mom needed to go to London for surgery. A neurosurgical team had been called and would be awaiting her arrival.
Upon arrival in London, we were informed by the critical care team that Mom’s pupils became dilated and fixed on the way to London and she had been pronounced brain dead. She was on life support and there was nothing anyone could do for her. That day, we said our goodbyes and turned off the machines that were keeping her alive.
From the time my mom arrived in the Emergency Department at Saugeen Shores that afternoon until she had the CT scan in Owen Sound, five hours had passed. I’ll never know if immediate access to a Computed TOMography (CT) scanner in Saugeen Shores could have changed the outcome for my mom. But I believe it might have improved her odds of surviving.
The shock of losing Mom so quickly was overwhelming.
She wasn’t just my mother – she truly was my best friend. She was always so proud and so supportive – from the time I was just a little girl, through all of life’s events, including my graduation and marriage to Matt. And she could barely contain her excitement about grandbabies. In fact, she carried in her wallet a piece of paper with the word “Nonna” – the name she looked forward to being called. I’ll do my best to ensure my daughter Kaylee grows up to be as strong and caring as Mom was.
After losing my mom, I felt compelled to do whatever I could to spread the word of the importance of bringing a CT scanner to our local hospital. Mom was always a huge advocate for health care close to home. So, it would have meant the world to her to have her story be a part of making that happen.
I hope that the hospital can count on you today to help with this critical purchase of a Computed TOMography (CT) scanner that will provide life-saving care right here at Saugeen Shores.
Natasha Payne (nee Soepboer)