The following is a monthly column for the rotation of Highlands East residents
By Jan Simon
Recently, I received two personal phone calls from Wilberforce residents praising the care they received from our Haliburton Highlands Family Health Team (HHFHT).
This is truly a remarkable team made up of members and partners such as doctors and hospital staff, Haliburton County Paramedic Services, volunteer firefighters, pharmacists, nurse practitioners and opticians, to name a few.
Together, they serve all of Haliburton County with expertise, care and the utmost consideration for everyone.
For me, the story started 27 years ago when I moved to Wilberforce. My realtor was recovering from cancer. I asked her about the medical care here and that’s when she told me about her situation and how wonderful the care was in our area. She put my mind at ease.
Since then, I have heard many stories from local residents and across the county who have the highest respect for the Family Health Team.
A neighbor who had purchased the property next to mine was clearing his property and was attacked by bees. He arrived on my doorstep with marks all over his body and his eyes reddened. I took him straight to the pharmacy for help, believing he needed an EpiPen. His tongue swelled. 9-1-1 was called and paramedics arrived within minutes and put him on an IV drip. They took him to the hospital where they underwent treatment, and he had a good result.
More recently a friend called to tell me that she had gone to see a local optometrist when it was detected that she had a stroke behind her eye. She was diagnosed and sent to Lindsay for immediate attention.
Another friend had surgery and the next day his blood pressure dropped drastically. He couldn’t move. The 9-1-1 call brought emergency medical services workers within five minutes. He was sent immediately to Lindsay for life-saving treatment.
A quick and accurate diagnosis combined with interaction between members of our incredible Family Health Team saved another life at Wilberforce.
Through ongoing education sessions in all aspects of health care and caring people, lives have been saved in Highlands East and throughout the county.
A GoFundMe was started by a Wilberforce volunteer firefighter to start a water rescue program because we had lost two men at Dark Lake in two years.
We must also recognize our municipal politicians whom we must thank for our wonderful Haliburton and Minden hospitals and the state-of-the-art long-term care facilities attached to them.
Extendicare are planning a new location in the near future and are to be commended for the care they have provided to local residents.
Peterborough Regional Health Center and Ross Memorial in Lindsay are excellent facilities that we were directed to for further treatment. Helicopter pilots are to be commended for the work they do in getting patients to their destinations quickly and safely. The staff at both hospitals are excellent, which I have personally experienced.
Given the situation of the past two years with COVID-19, which includes the ongoing health challenges of our aging population, we must applaud all of our frontline workers. Their mental health, given what they see regularly, is also very important, and I know there are programs in place to help them when needed.
From all of Wilberforce and our Municipality of Highlands East, thank you for all you do for us. You are the best!
Submitted by Jan Simon