My name is Naomi Wong and I have been a Patient and Family Advisor at North York General for two years, but my connection with the hospital began 22 years ago when I was brought into the world. My great-grandmother was among the first of my relatives to hold me. On this Family Day, I want to share with you the story of my great-grandmother’s last day with us.
While on vacation in Florida, I received a call from the Graham & Audrey Rosenberg Family Cardiac Care Clinic. A nurse told me that my mother wasn’t doing well and explained her symptoms. I knew I had to come home.
I had been falling occasionally over several years. I had no idea what was causing it. I just simply fell, and at 90 plus years old, you can imagine the risk of serious injury.
When my son Tim went away for his first year of university, his peers started to notice that he wasn’t going to class. At home, he spent most of his time in his room and wouldn’t talk to anyone. He became more and more reclusive. Something was wrong.
After a high-risk pregnancy that filled us with so much worry, we were blessed with our beautiful twins Adam and Aurora. They were born on December 12, 2018, healthy and strong — our gift for the holidays.
We thought it was just the stomach flu. But when I saw my mom a few days later, I knew something was very wrong. Her high fever remained. She wasn’t eating and she could barely even stand.
I went to see my doctor to get some test results. He sat down next to me, put my chart down on the table, looked me in the eye and told me what he found. As soon as he said that word — cancer — I couldn’t hear anything else. Graduations, weddings, anniversaries — they all swirled in my mind. The thought of leaving my family behind was just too much.
The actions we take as parents have a lasting impact on our children. It’s our hope that our gift to the hospital that means so much to us will inspire our children and teach them the supreme value of giving back.
The causes we hold close to our hearts reflect who we are and what we truly value. This year, we decided to leave a lasting legacy for our community through a planned gift to North York General. Here’s why we did it …
“The brightest of stars are those who shine for the benefit of others.”
North York General Foundation
4001 Leslie Street, Toronto, ON