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Keeping loved ones close to home

Dear sir:

I am writing in regards to the opening of the new Rainy River Hospital.

My mother, Helen McQuaker, was placed in Rainycrest in Fort Frances on Oct. 16, 1998. Papers were signed and my dad was told as soon as the new hospital was complete, she would be moved back to Rainy River.

Well, the big grand opening was held in July and my mother is still in Fort Frances.

In the write-up in the paper, certain people (you know who you are) talked about how this hospital was for family. For your parents, grandparents, and friends, all in need of effective care, can be proudly provided for by this facility in a strong, strong community.

This way, you could keep your loved ones close to home instead of driving for hours to and from where they were placed while the hospital was being built.

Well, it’s built and my mom is still in Fort Frances! I don’t know how it makes anyone else feel but it sickens me to know now the trouble my dad and the rest of my family have to go through just to bring my mother back home to Rainy River.

My mom and dad have lived in Rainy River all their lives. They raised 11 children there. They’ve paid taxes and shop locally in Rainy River.

My mom was president of the Ladies Auxiliary off and on for many years. She and my dad are both life members of the Legion. My mother also was involved in “Meals on Wheels,” which was to deliver meals to the elderly people when she was elderly herself.

Their children have raised their children there, and also their children’s children.

My mother may not be as special to some as she is to me and my family but she is our family—and she is more special than anything!

I don’t think my dad, at his age of 78, should have to drive back and forth to Fort Frances every second day to visit my mom when there is seven-eight empty beds in the new Rainy River Hospital. If there is not enough staff or funding, then maybe the hospital shouldn’t have had that extra space built on.

If you need help with her, I’m sure the family would be willing to lend a helping hand. I know my sisters used to go down before and feed her—all you have to do is ask.

They say it’s a place to put loved ones when they need care. If that’s the case, and you have to go through all this trouble to keep a loved one close to home, then I don’t want to get old. I would not want my husband or children to go through what my dad and my family are going through to get a loved one closer to home!

I hope the ones on the health committee or whoever decides where this person or that person goes reads this. Remember, someday you may be old too and your life will fall into someone’s hands to decide what would be best for you, and you have no say in the matter because it’s government.

Would you want your family to go through this just to keep you close to home?

Where my mother is, she is treated very well. The only thing that upsets me is when she is ready to leave us, I would rather have her close to her family than an hour away.

Remember, that one hour does make a difference!

In closing, I also would like to say a big thank you to Howard Hampton for helping out in every way possible. I just hope things work out for the best, especially for my dad’s sake.


Tammy McQuaker

Emo, Ont.

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