Susan Gilbert

When Susan Gilbert’s father broke his leg and was dealing with spinal stenosis, he was admitted to Joseph Brant Hospital. Medically, he was doing well in his recovery and Susan and her family were preparing to relocate their father into a retirement home. But what Susan and her family didn’t anticipate was the COVID-19 pandemic to hinder their transition plan.

“It has been an unusual and difficult transition considering the circumstances, but we are so grateful to the staff at Joseph Brant Hospital,” says Susan.

With the new hospital policy limiting visitors, Susan realized the family would not be able to celebrate her father’s 89th birthday together.

But that didn’t stop Susan and her family. They created signs for him, and worked with the nursing staff to find the best place where they could be outside so her father could see them from his room.

“The nursing staff helped us to co-ordinate getting my father over to a window, where a few family members gathered in the courtyard below with a celebratory sign,” recalls Susan. “These wonderful, caring nurses went above and beyond to capture the event in photos and shared them with the family.”

For Susan, it was about celebrating her father’s birthday despite the difficult circumstances. “The staff at the hospital got together to make my father’s birthday special when we couldn’t be there. I hope that the staff feel the gratitude and support from my family, the community and the entire country. A heartfelt thank you – for everything they do,” says Susan.