Home's roots planted with can-do attitude
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.