Exceptional Care Inspires Gratitude
Tammy Urquhart and Irene Muir (mom) in front of the family barn
Tammy Urquhart fondly recalls her dad, Lloyd Muir, as someone who was always busy.
“Dad was always a tinkerer and always fixing things and building things,” says Tammy as she remembers many of the projects her dad worked on over the years at their family home.
Tammy, along with her mom Irene, dad Lloyd and siblings, grew up in the small community of Belleisle. It was at their family home that Lloyd took on projects, from fixing up the tractor to working in the shop.
“Dad would weld, build – you name it, he did it.”
Through his life, Lloyd had visited the Saint John Regional Hospital several times for different health-related concerns, from heart issues to surgeries. In 1990, Lloyd suffered two broken legs and a broken pelvis, requiring surgery to pin his legs back together. He also lost his arm in 2001 and another visit to the Heart Centre in 2005 for by-pass surgery.
However, nothing prepared the family for the terminal cancer diagnosis he received in 2016.
Cancer Diagnosis Hit Home
In 2016, Lloyd received the news that he had stage 3 lung cancer.
“I remember sitting in the office and dad asking, ‘how long’ and the doctor told him it’s usually about 18-months without chemotherapy.”
It was a diagnosis that sat heavy, but Lloyd, determined as ever to fight, wasn’t going to let the diagnosis slow him down.
“Dad said, ‘I’ve been broken in a number of ways, all the things that have happened to me in my life, I won’t let cancer take me’.”
The following months were trips to the hospital for radiation treatment. Even during that time, Lloyd always kept an eye out for things he could fix.
“I made several trips with dad. I remember one trip, we were at the hospital headed to his treatment and along the baseboard a piece of metal had come undone. He was worried someone was going to hurt themselves coming around the corner, so he stood there and kicked that metal until it folded back around the wall. That was dad.”
Given his diagnosis, the family wanted to help make the most of life at home with family and friends.
“In September of 2017, we had a big anniversary here for Mum and Dad. There must have been almost 300 people here that day. We had a giant pig roast and where we live in a tight-knit community, pretty much everybody from Belleisle was here at some point in the day.”
That is when Lloyd began to slow down, and things started to progress.
“After that day, dad started to get a little more tired, and he stayed tired it seemed. At Christmas time that year, he had a hospital bed at home, because he wanted to be at home.”
Lloyd passed away in January 2018.
Remembering the Incredible Care
Tammy made several trips with her dad to the hospital for his radiation treatments.
“Everyone was so supportive and positive when we came for appointments. Dad always had a good sense of humour and was always joking around…and everybody was always happy to see him.”
The support that Tammy felt visiting the Regional with her dad for treatments, made the staff feel like they were an extension of her family.
“One time I got to go in with dad because he wanted me to see the ceiling. It was…what looked like a fall scene, lying in the grass looking up at a colorful maple tree. To me, that is going the extra mile for making the patients comfortable while they're undergoing a stressful situation, and it was just so calming for patients like dad.”
Tammy, and her family, are so grateful for the amazing care and the love that the healthcare professionals showed Lloyd during his time in the hospital.
Exceptional Care Inspired a Gift
“I was at home, puttering around in the kitchen and I had the radio on,” says Urquhart. “I remember hearing them talk about the hospital.”
Tammy thinks of her father often, and the care he received at the Saint John Regional Hospital.
I was inspired to give back to the foundation, because of the great care dad received and to support the people that supported him. - Tammy
She hopes she inspires others to give as well, as her family saw the true benefits of great care.
“It is important for people to give what they can to the hospital Foundation because the doctors, nurses, and all the staff there, as well as the equipment and technology used there saves people's lives everyday. They saved dad's life several times over, during his lifetime. Our family is very grateful for the care, knowledge and support he received there. And that is priceless.”