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.
Tim was once a social butterfly who loved spending time with family and friends. He enjoyed our family trips overseas to Spain and Scotland. He loved being outdoors, and playing golf was one of his favourite activities.
I suggested he see a doctor about it, but he was reluctant. His father and I were really worried about him, so we ended up taking him to a psychologist in Scarborough and then to a downtown hospital specializing in mental health. There, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
When the doctor first broke the news, I was in shock. How could this have happened? He was doing so incredibly well before. I feared that he’d have a struggle that would last the rest of his life.
Over the years, Tim saw a number of psychiatrists, but none had very much success with treating him. Most were not aware of the latest advancements in the treatment of schizophrenia. For many years, the condition continued to take a toll on my son’s emotional state and nearly every aspect of his life. Eventually, we found Dr. Robert Weinstein, a psychiatrist at North York General Hospital.
Dr. Weinstein is excellent at what he does and he truly cares about his patients. He was able to determine the right medication and dosage that works for my son. Tim is now 66 years old and has been seeing Dr. Weinstein once a month for more than 15 years.
While Tim has his good and bad days, he’s doing very well overall and he’s happy, which to me is the most important result overall. He currently lives in a retirement home, where he can get the care and support he needs. Peer support workers come to visit him every day. They go for walks, play games like pool, checkers and chess, go on the computer, and exercise together. Tim is an avid pianist and enjoys playing pieces on the retirement home’s piano and on his keyboard in his room.
I’m 93 years old now. I’m so glad that my son is doing well, that he’s settled and getting the right treatment. As a mother, I want to be sure that he’s okay in case anything happens to me.
I wanted to find a way to express my gratitude to Dr. Weinstein and North York General. I also wanted to make a difference in the lives of other schizophrenia patients like Tim. That’s why I decided to donate to North York General Foundation to support the hospital’s need for specialty mental health beds.
I learned that there is an ongoing need for new beds, as many are aging and nearing the end of their lifespans. From my son’s own health care experiences, I know the importance of having modern, comfortable beds.
I am so very grateful to Dr. Weinstein and North York General Hospital. I’m also grateful to donors past and present whose generosity gives hospital staff the tools they need to care for their patients. It gives me great joy to say that my son is doing well; all thanks to the amazing care he has received over the last 15 years at North York General Hospital.