Health Foundation: Having care close to home important to Red Deerians

10 year old Erikka sent a thank you note to staff of the Red Deer Regional Hospital. The note said simply, “Thank you for saving my Mom’s life,” signed, “Erikka”.

Our team recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Erikka to talk to her about how a frightening illness nearly took her Mom’s life. “My Dad and I had to start preparing for the worst,” she now says matter-of-factly from her cozy home in East Red Deer. Fortunately, Mom Sabrina was smiling brightly beside her.

At 37, Sabrina McKinley was shocked to get a breast cancer diagnosis. She was terrified and needed comfort and reassurance. Fortunately, she was able to find both at the Red Deer Hospital. “My care team assured me I wasn’t in this fight alone.”

At the height of her fight, Sabrina found herself in palliative care at our hospital. “They were so accommodating,” she says, “and they let me know everything.”

Sabrina’s care was focused entirely in Red Deer so family activities could remain somewhat normal – an important aspect of overcoming her illness. Being home for family dinners, attending kids’ activities, and just knowing friends & neighbours are nearby are of great comfort to most patients.

The McKinley family is eternally grateful that Red Deer doctors and nurses saved Sabrina’s life. And they also recognize supporters to the Foundation, who, through their donations, ensured lifesaving equipment was available so those doctors and nurses could do the work they are trained to do.

We often hear people say that government should totally fund healthcare. Whether you agree or not, the fact remains that while the hospital continues to provide ample care with current budget dollars, there are needs that can be satisfied more quickly with financial support from the community. The latest technology, the newest equipment, the best level of programming – these are all things made possible by the Foundation through our generous donors.

The very bed Sabrina rested on while in palliative care could have been supplied by donor dollars. Beds seem like pretty standard hospital equipment, and while our hospital has suitable patient beds, those provided by donor dollars through the Foundation are of the newest technology available, providing more comfort for patients and more accessibility and safety for healthcare providers. These types of provisions are important in the overall healing of sick patients in our region. And your Foundation works every single day to fund services for your hospital.

Your donor dollars do make a difference. They do affect change. They do help heal the sick. They do help doctors and nurses give the best care possible. And they do ensure little girls like Erikka can snuggle up next to Mom on the couch and talk about plans for the future.

To see more about Sabrina’s journey please watch our video at

The Red Deer Regional Health Foundation is the only major charity funding equipment at our hospital.

Iaian Park

Chief Executive Officer

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