A Heart Full of Gratitude

Dorothy Wirth has had her fair share of adventures. Camping in Australia, riding a motorcycle across Canada, and scuba diving in the Caribbean have all been highlights for this world traveller. But in October 2020, she took a trip she didn’t plan – to Royal Columbian Hospital for open heart surgery.

At the height of the pandemic, Dorothy came to RCH to get a stent (a tiny tube inserted into a blocked artery to keep it open and restore blood flow) inserted in our cardiac catheterization lab. It was supposed to be a routine procedure. Unfortunately, a stent wasn’t going to do the job. Dorothy needed emergency triple bypass surgery.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, she knew she couldn’t have her husband, Jim, by her side through her ordeal. “I was scared stiff,” she says. She remembers a porter named Blake, a charming and friendly young man who assisted her and allayed her fears. “That kind moment when I was so afraid. It meant a lot to me,” says Dorothy.

Dorothy continued to be impressed with the level of care and compassion she experienced during her time at Royal Columbian. “I can’t tell you how amazing all of the people were,” she says. “I couldn’t have been in a better place.” Dorothy reflects, “Hundreds of people looked after me. Nobody owed me that. It was a gift.”

Dorothy still keeps in touch with the roommate she had during her recovery. “We call ourselves Scar Sisters,” she says. They continue to support and encourage each other more than a year-and-a-half after their surgeries.

An expert weaver, Dorothy belongs to a group that sells their work once a year in November. After her surgery, she decided she would give her proceeds to RCHF.

Recently, it was time for Dorothy to update her Will. She chose to leave a gift in her Will to Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation in gratitude for the care she received. She says, “When we have the opportunity to support our system, it’s very important that we do so others can benefit.”

Why do you love Royal Columbian Hospital?

Curious about how you could make a big impact through a Gift in your Will?

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Catherine Cornish
CFRE, Director, Leadership and Legacy Giving
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Phone: 604.970.5931
Email: Catherine.cornish@fraserhealth.ca