When Fatima Siadat arrived in Canada 32 years ago, she was ready to start her new life after fleeing Iran. But her ambitions were hampered when her previously diagnosed eye condition, Thygeson’s Disease, worsened.

As a new Canadian, and unable to speak English or French, the idea of ending up in hospital was frightening. However, Fatima found herself in good hands with the team at The Ottawa Hospital’s University of Ottawa Eye Institute.

She remembers her first interactions with ophthalmologist Dr. Bruce Jackson who provided excellent care, communicating through her brother, who acted as a translator ensuring she understood everything. “I remember when I was first admitted to hospital and met Dr. Jackson, I had just been invited to a wedding, but the condition was painful, and I had to wear patches over my eyes. Dr. Jackson assured me I would be able to attend the wedding without worry — and I did.”

Through the exceptional and compassionate care Fatima received, her vision was restored. She was able to live with the disease and she went on to study at Algonquin College, eventually becoming a daycare supervisor. She continues to be cared for by our hospital today.

The kindness and expertise that Fatima experienced firsthand is what inspired her to become a monthly donor to The Ottawa Hospital. It’s her way to say ‘thank you’ to the doctors who allowed her to regain her sight. With each new story she reads from the Foundation, she becomes even more grateful to be doing her part to help others. “I feel proud that I am a very small part to help other patients get their life and happiness back.”

Fatima Siadat

As Fatima looks to the future, she wants to ensure her impact carries on so she is leaving a gift in her will to our hospital. “I am alive and can see the result of giving, and I feel proud to help other patients in the future.”

Q: What inspired you to give to The Ottawa Hospital Foundation?

My doctors were my inspiration. Just a month after I arrived in Canada, my eye condition, Thygeson’s Disease, got so bad I had to be admitted to The Ottawa Hospital. At the time, I didn’t speak any English, but they took very good care of me. They gave me a new lens and I started getting better right away.

Q: Why do you choose to give monthly?

I made my first donation in 2002. It felt good to give back. I like the hospital to know they can count on me throughout the whole year. It’s how I say “thank you” — I’ve been giving monthly for 19 years now. Giving monthly makes me feel proud, especially when I see the impact my donations are having.

“I am alive and can see the result of giving, and I feel proud to help other patients in the future.”

— Fatima Siadat

Q: What made you decide to leave a donation in your will to The Ottawa Hospital?

It has always been important to thank those who helped me get my eye sight back. I see the results today of my monthly donations and I want to be able to keep helping even when I’m gone.

Q: What would you tell someone who might be considering a donation to The Ottawa Hospital?

It feels good to be able to share in the happiness of giving life back to others and to read stories about the amazing things happening at the hospital. You know you’re making a real difference when you give.