Home's roots plan­ted with can-do at­ti­tude

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

The Hud­son pal­lia­tive care home is a unique place in the region. But how­did such a home - one that em­braces, com­forts and sup­ports the people pre­pa­ring to leave this world and the lo­ved ones they'll leave be­hind - come to re­side at 90, rue Como-Gardens? And why should other­wise heal­thy people contri­bute to the home which is fo­re­ver co­min­gup­with­new­ways­to rai­se­mo­ney­to meet its ope­ra­ting costs?

When Chantal Anc­til and Syl­vie Du­fresne, doc­tors with the Vau­dreuil-Sou­langes Centre de san­té et de ser­vices so­ciaux, tea­med up in 2003 with nurse Su­zanne Ro­berge and di­rec­tor Syl­vie D'Ara­gon, they iden­ti­fied the need for a pal­lia­tive care home in Vau­dreuil-Sou­langes.

It would take two more years for the concept to coa­lesce in­to an ac­tual grass­roots ef­fort in the form of the Vau­dreuilSou­langes Health Care Foun­da­tion.

Syl­vie Crevier, pre­sident of the Vau­dreuilSou­langes Health Care Foun­da­tion, which ope­ned the home last Sep­tem­ber, be­gan wor­king with the group in 2004. Not long af­ter, the foun­da­tion es­ta­bli­shed its char­ter and non-pro­fit sta­tus.

The group's first vo­lun­teer, thir­teen­mem­ber board of di­rec­tors in­clu­ded doc- tors, nurses, CLSC wor­kers and ci­ti­zens.

Ma­ny, like Crevier and board vi­ce­pre­sident Yves Pa­te­naude who got in­vol­ved as a way to give back af­ter their res­pec­tive spouses pas­sed away, wan­ted to see a place where people could spend their fi­nal days in com­fort, love and with di­gni­ty.

And by the time the $3.5 mil­lion home ope­ned with four pa­tient beds late last sum­mer, more than 2,000 Vau­dreuilSou­langes people had vo­lun­tee­red in count­less ways to bring the dream of the home to frui­tion.

Though it was eva­lua­ted at $3.5 mil­lion, the Foun­da­tion ac­tual­ly sa­ved $1 mil­lion buil­ding the home thanks to count­less do­na­tions of time, material, la­bour or mo­ney.

There was a land do­na­tion made by Hugh and Ma­ry Par­sons and their son, Chip.

A con­trac­tor vo­lun­tee­red his time to over­see the pro­ject, while an ar­chi­tect and an en­gi­neer do­na­ted a por­tion of their time.

Hud­son quil­ters wor­ked ti­re­less­ly to stitch to­ge­ther in­di­vi­dual hand-made bed co­vers unique to each room, while lo­cal knit­ters cast-on to create count­less pairs of slip­pers.

Towns like Vau­dreuil-Do­rion, Hud­son and L'Île-Per­rot held fun­drai­sers to spon­sor par­ti­cu­lar rooms, and Vau­dreuil-Sou­langes' Op­ti­mists Clubs joi­ned to­ge­ther to fund a room spe­ci­fi­cal­ly for child pa­tients.

Ci­ti­zens or­ga­ni­zed fun­drai­sers. Golf clubs held tour­na­ments. And more.

The concept gal­va­ni­zed in­di­vi­duals and groups and brought them to­ge­ther des­pite lin­guis­tic, fi­nan­cial, re­li­gious or other­dif­fe­rences.

And in the same spi­rit, the re­sul­ting home, its staff and an ar­my of vo­lun­teers (more are al­ways nee­ded) conti­nue to wel­come people whose bo­dies are gi­ving up on them...and whose fa­mi­lies who are ne­ver ready to say good­bye.

All ser­vices are of­fe­red free of charge to pa­tients and for no­mi­nal fees to fa­mi­lies.

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