It was an unimaginable brain tumour diagnosis that Natasha Lewis never saw coming. It started one morning, in 2016; the mother of three remembers waking up with a strange symptom.

“I looked in the mirror and noticed my tongue was twisting to the left,” recalled Natasha. Her first thought was that she had a stroke, but she was confused by the fact the rest of her body seemed normal.

She went for tests at The Ottawa Hospital  and three days later, her life changed. Natasha was driving when she got the call. Tests revealed a tumour in her brain. “I felt so sick when I heard the news that I had to pull over.”

Diagnosis shatters mom’s world

Natasha Lewis with her husband
Natasha Lewis with her husband, Marvin.

Natasha had a schwannoma tumour, which is rarely found in the brain. Her mind was racing. “I was only 38 years old, a wife, and mother of three young children.”

When she got home to St. Isidore, east of Ottawa, she sat with her youngest daughter as she relayed the information to her husband. “I had tears falling down my face. I didn’t know what was going to happen.”

All this time she thought she was healthy. “I was losing weight, running, and training for marathons and triathlons.” All she could think about were her three, beautiful, young children. What would this mean for them?

“We’re in the right place. We’re in Canada, we’re close to Ottawa, we’ll get the best care.”

– Marvin Lewis

However, her husband, Marvin, was a pillar of strength. She remembers him saying, “We’re in the right place. We’re in Canada, we’re close to Ottawa, we’ll get the best care.” She adds, “He has never been so right.”

The challenge of non-cancerous brain tumours

Natasha was cared for at The Ottawa Hospital – one of the few hospitals in Canada that could help her because of the complexity of her diagnosis. Dr. Fahad Alkherayf, a world-class skull base surgeon told her the tumour was benign and he would closely monitor her in the months ahead.

Normally, a schwannoma is a tumour that grows in the sheaths of nerves in the peripheral nervous system, or the parts of the nervous system that aren’t in your brain or spinal cord. Schwannomas are usually low-grade tumours, meaning they can often be successfully treated, but they’re still serious and can be life-threatening. It is estimated that in 2021, there will be 27 new primary brain tumours diagnosed every day in Canada. Non-malignant tumours account for almost two-thirds of all primary brain tumours.

Condition deteriorating

Less than a year later, while the tumour had grown only slightly, Natasha’s quality of life was deteriorating.

She was scared to see what was happening with her body. Initially, there was drooling from both sides of her mouth, then Natasha started slurring her words. It was a little embarrassing, but she could handle it. In addition, swallowing became more difficult and her shoulder felt like it was on fire. That’s when she lost the ability to move it and couldn’t use it to work out. Even worse, she couldn’t lift her children.

By May 2018, it was time to operate when the side effects continued to worsen.

Surgeons ready for complex procedure

It was an intricate 10-hour brain surgery. Dr. Alkherayf brought in ear surgeon, Dr. David Schramm, a colleague at The Ottawa Hospital, to assist because of where the tumor was located. Dr. Alkherayf wanted to have another highly-skilled surgeon with him because the tumour was near the ear canal.

Hospital-bound Natasha with Dr. Fahad Alkerayf
Natasha with Dr. Alkherayf

The surgical team accessed her brain through the base of the skull. While minimally invasive surgeries are becoming more common than open surgeries, where the brain is accessed through a more invasive and significant incision, it wasn’t an option for Natasha because there were too many nerves to navigate. With traditional surgery, patients can spend a week recovering in the hospital.  With minimally invasive surgery, they sometimes go home the same day. In Natasha’s case, though complex and intricate, open surgery was the less risky option and she benefitted from the expertise available to her right here in Ottawa.

Dr. Alkherayf knew they likely couldn’t remove all of the tumour because of those surrounding nerves; damaging them meant Natasha might  lose her ability to hear and swallow. While these risks were terrifying for Natasha, Dr. Alkherayf made her feel confident and gave her hope.

“I remember Dr. Alkherayf said there would be another chapter in my life. I held on to those words.”

– Natasha Lewis

Incredibly, her surgeons were able to remove ninety-nine percent of the tumour leaving only a small sliver so they didn’t have to cut the nerves.

Journey continues after remarkable recovery

Following her surgery, Natasha made a remarkable recovery. She has her hearing — it’s a little muffled but she’s told over time it will return to normal. She’s back at work, her speech is back to normal, and she can swallow without difficulty.

This active mom’s recovery has been nothing short of remarkable. Four months post-surgery, Natasha ran the Commander’s challenge at the Army Run. She started training for a marathon and she has the dream of qualifying for the Boston Marathon.

However, in 2019, she received news the tumour had grown back, despite being told the odds of that were low. Natasha was devastated, but her healthcare team would turn to the CyberKnife – a revolutionary piece of equipment that arrived at The Ottawa Hospital in 2010, as a result of donor support.

“At first I was nervous to have the CyberKnife treatment. I had to go by myself because we had no one to watch the kids. However, the staff was very patient, kind, and made you feel warm and safe. I was able to watch a movie and the machine did the work,” recalls Natasha. She would have three, one-hour treatments.

Natasha and her family
Natasha and her family

“I had to go by myself because we had no one to watch the kids. However, the staff was very patient, kind, and made you feel warm and safe.”

– Natasha Lewis

Today, she prays that “Jim,” the name she’s given the tumour, will not come back. While there’s uncertainty over what will happen next, she continues to be active with her running and most importantly, she can run, play with, and hug her three children. “I can hear them laugh and tell me they love me. There is no greater feeling in the world,” smiles Natasha.

June Jones lives a double life. During the day, she is busy, making cookies with her two granddaughters, working in her garden, and enjoying life. During the night, she sleeps hooked up to a dialysis machine. June needs a new kidney.

June making cookies after Christmas with her granddaughter Leah.
June making cookies after Christmas with her granddaughter Leah.

The 58-year-old has been living with kidney disease for 30 years — over half her life.

In April 1989, not long after her second child was born, June felt extremely run down. Her physician was concerned she had too much blood in her urine and sent her to a nephrologist.

He diagnosed her with IgA nephropathy, disease caused by her body’s immune system attacking her kidneys.

June started on various medications after being diagnosed, but within nine years her disease had progressed, and her kidneys stopped working completely. She started dialysis in 1998.

“There is no cure for renal disease,” said June. “Once your kidneys fail, you’re put on dialysis or have a transplant. Your life is never normal.”

What kidneys do

The function of the kidneys is to remove waste and extra water from the blood to make urine. When kidneys stop working and no longer clean the blood, toxins accumulate in the body, and this can be fatal. Dialysis is an artificial method of cleaning the blood. It sustains a person’s life but is not a cure.

There are two different forms of dialysis. Hemodialysis removes waste products and extra water from the blood by circulating and filtering it through a machine. This is the most common form of dialysis that is often provided to patients at the hospital. Peritoneal dialysis circulates a fluid through the lining of your abdomen, or peritoneum, and the waste products from the blood pass into this fluid.

There are almost 1,000 patients on dialysis in the Ottawa area. Just over two hundred are on peritoneal dialysis. Dr. Brendan McCormick, Medical Director of the Home Dialysis Program, said some patients have been treated for over a decade on peritoneal dialysis but more typically patients spend about three years on this therapy. People leave peritoneal dialysis once they receive a kidney transplant, however, some need to transfer to hemodialysis due to complications of therapy.

The Ottawa Hospital Home dialysis program has the highest rate of kidney transplant in the province. For many patients, peritoneal dialysis serves as a bridge to kidney transplant.

Needing life-saving dialysis

According to a report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information released in December 2018, only 16 percent of Canadians on dialysis survive past 10 years. However, up to 74 percent of Canadians with a kidney transplant still have a functioning kidney after 10 years.

June was only on dialysis for six months before she received the call that a donor match had been found. On November 28, 1998, June received a kidney transplant from a deceased donor.

“It lasted four months shy of 15 years,” June said. “Then, the disease reappeared. I’ve been back on dialysis now for six years.”

In the Ottawa Region, 52 people have received kidney transplants this year. Unfortunately, there are still 165 people are on a waiting list.

“We need to do a lot of transplants to get people off dialysis to keep them alive longer with a better quality of life,” said Dr. Ann Bugeja, nephrologist and Director of the Living Kidney Donor Program. “We know that getting a living donor kidney is the best treatment for end-stage kidney disease and it lasts longer than getting a kidney from a deceased donor.”

When June’s kidney transplant failed six years ago, she had to go back on hemodialysis. She switched to peritoneal dialysis in July 2013. Once again, she has a dialysis machine at home, but this time she does dialysis for nine hours every night. It cleans her blood while she sleeps.

June’s nightly routine is a hassle and not a permanent solution. The membrane around her stomach has started to harden, which means the fluids can’t move back and forth as easily. What this means is that June will have to go on hemodialysis. The technology hasn’t changed in the 20 years since she was on it before and she remembers too vividly how it gave her severe headaches and was painful.


Making a difference for future generations

The Joneses at the unveiling of the plaque outside the Jones Family Foundation Kidney Research Laboratory in honour of their million dollar donation to Kidney Research.
Russ and June Jones with their family at The Ottawa Hospital. The Jones family made a $1 million donation to support kidney research at The Ottawa Hospital.

Russ and June Jones with their family at The Ottawa Hospital. The Jones family made a $1 million donation to support kidney research at The Ottawa Hospital.

June needs a new kidney. She is on a Canada-wide waiting list for one.

“Giving a kidney can change somebody’s life,” said Dr. Bugeja.

June lives with the daily hope of a second transplant.

She and husband Russ know first-hand how important research is to improve outcomes for people suffering with kidney disease. They heard researchers at The Ottawa Hospital were making great strides finding solutions to kidney diseases, including detecting kidney disease early and looking at the potential of stem cells to heal injured kidneys.

They decided the only way to make a difference for future generations of patients was through research and made a $1 million donation to support kidney research at the Kidney Research Centre at The Ottawa Hospital.

Their support will enable the research team at the Kidney Research Centre to continue to advance knowledge and improve the care of patients with kidney disease through world-renowned studies and research.

June’s children are now adults, married, and parents themselves — each with their own adorable little girl. Leah, aged two, and Bailey, 18 months, are the pride and joy of June’s life.

On January 8, 2019, the entire family was at The Ottawa Hospital Kidney Research Centre to unveil a plaque outside the Jones Family Foundation Kidney Research Laboratory. The plaque commemorates their incredible support of kidney research.

“I hope with research advancements, I will live to see my grandchildren’s memorable events,” said June.

“I hope to be there for their high school graduations, university graduations, their wedding days, and when they have children of their own. I also hope great strides are made so that their generation will find a cure.”

Listen to Pulse podcast and hear June Jones in her own words explaining what it’s like waiting for a second kidney transplant and why research is so important.

The Ottawa Hospital, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation

For tumours in the head and neck, or in organs that move constantly, like the lungs, kidneys, and liver, platinum seeds, about one third the size of a grain of rice, are implanted around a tumour. The seeds improve the CyberKnife robot’s accuracy in delivering precise doses of radiation by helping its software detect and track the motion of the tumour. These made-in-Ottawa platinum seeds are improving an already incredibly powerful and precise radiosurgery treatment system for tumours in the head, neck, and organs, such as lungs and liver.

Click here to read more about platinum seeds.

The Ottawa Hospital, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation, Platinum Seeds, Cancer
Platinum seeds, a third the size of a grain of rice, are improving the accuracy of CyberKnife treatments.
The Ottawa Hospital, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation

Because of you

Thousands of patients in Ottawa, and beyond, are receiving the latest treatment options. Powered by state-of-the-art technology and backed up by the very best medical expertise, your generous support allowed us to build three impressive new health centres at The Ottawa Hospital. Your generosity has improved care and changed patients’ lives.

The Ottawa Hospital, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation

Rose Ages Breast Health Centre

The Ottawa Hospital, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation
Rose Ages Breast Health Centre

When the doors opened at the Rose Ages Breast Health Centre in September, it marked the wonderful close of an ambitious $14 million fundraising campaign. Thanks to our community’s outstanding generosity, the new centre houses an impressive suite of advanced technology, enabling less invasive and more accurate diagnoses and treatments.

The new centre’s inviting space will enhance wellness and connection to family and friends with open, naturally lit areas and private, gowned waiting rooms. This new, larger centre at the General Campus is now ready to provide the best treatment and care to the thousands of patients in our region who need it most—thanks to you.

Charlie and Claudette Logue Dermatology Centre

The Ottawa Hospital, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation
The Logue children, Kevin, Shaun, Christine, Cathy, and Elizabeth, at the opening of the Dermatology Centre.

There is no example more concrete about how community support can advance health care than the building of the Charlie and Claudette Logue Dermatology Centre. Local businessman Charlie Logue saw the need for a dermatology centre that would provide faster assessments, shorter wait times, and increased access to dermatology services. After he passed away in August 2013, Charlie’s friends and colleagues in the Ottawa business community, along with his own children, fundraised $3.7 million for a new dermatology centre. This bright, new, state-of-the-art centre opened in April to provide the latest dermatology treatments now and for future generations.

Neuromuscular Centre

In 2016, Dr. Jodi Warman Chardon and senior scientist Dr. Robin Parks dreamt of building a centre where neuromuscular experts—clinicians and basic scientists—could collaborate to develop treatments for neuromuscular diseases. More than 10,000 people in eastern Ontario are affected by neuromuscular diseases, which weaken the muscles. These patients had no options to participate in clinical trials in Ottawa, so Drs. Warman Chardon and Parks decided to change that. Thanks to generous donor support, their dream became reality when The Ottawa Hospital NeuroMuscular Centre—the largest in Canada—opened its doors to patients in May.

No Donation too small, no fundraiser too young

The Ottawa Hospital, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation
Six 11-year-old fundraisers (left to right): Isla, Lucy, Alice, Parker, Jackie, and Tess

“I know it’s a hospital, but this is beautiful!” said 11-year-old Parker when the elevator doors opened into the Rose Ages Breast Health Centre.

Parker and five friends arrived on October 24 with a plastic sandwich bag containing their donation of $247.95 in coins for breast cancer research. They worked hard to raise the money: raking leaves, cutting grass, selling lemonade, and shoveling snow.

The generosity of these six children is a shining example that no donation is too small and no fundraiser too young.

Phil and his son Sean
Sean donated a kidney to his father.

“How old will I be when I give you my kidney?” Seven-year-old Liam asked after his father, Sean Downey, donated a kidney to his father. 

Young Liam knew intuitively that giving was part of the Downey philosophy.

Phil Downey, Sean’s father, said he always knew growing up in rural Carp that helping others was important. It was something you just did. He said his mom, who was a nurse at the Civic Hospital in the 1940’s, kept a poem about giving’ that she’d cut out of a greeting card. It was always on the fridge to remind them how important giving to others was. Phil said a copy of that same poem is stuck on his own fridge today. As well, every one of his five adult children have the poem hanging in their house. It is their family creed. 

“I think it’s important to give, if you have the ability to give,” said Sean. “We live in the greatest country in the world, and have the ability to give more so than a lot of other places in the world. If everybody had that mentality, the world would be a better place.”  

About 12 years ago, Phil was diagnosed with kidney disease, which eventually led to kidney failure. Around the same time, Phil was diagnosed with prostate cancer. After the surgery to remove his prostate gland, he was encouraged to wait five years before having a kidney transplant because Phil would need to take anti-rejection drugs, which suppress the immune system and increase the potential for cancer.  

Five years later, Phil was still cancer free, but he was on dialysis and desperately needed a kidney.  Gail and his children and step children “threw in the hat,” and volunteered to donate their kidney. Sean, his second son, was the best match.  

“A lot of people get cancer or other terrible diseases. I have friends who lost loved ones, and who would’ve cut their right arm off to save someone they love,” said 42-year-old Sean. “There is the medical know how with kidney disease to save one person’s life, and the other person goes on to live a normal, happy life.” He said he just saw donating one of his kidneys as “something you do for your father.” 

The Downey family in their garden.
The Downey Family at their fundraising cocktail event in August 2018. Left to right: Sean Downey, Karen Leonard, Bruce Downey, Shannon Downey, Kevin Wolfe, Bryan Buchanan, Kate Wolfe, Jessica Wolfe, Phil and Gail Downey, centre, with Liam Downey
Gail and Phil with their medals.
In April 2019, Phil and Gail Downey were awarded the Governor General’s Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers.

In July 2013, Sean and Phil underwent surgery at the same time. The kidney transplant was a success. Phil began to feel better almost immediately. He said he had more energy while still in the hospital than he’d had in years. Recovering together, was great bonding time for Sean and Phil. The father and son had friendly competitions to reach milestones: who could be out walking more; who could do the most, physically or do it the fastest. Over the course of healing together, Phil convinced Sean to join his real estate business. He did, and father and son now work together.   

Phil and Gail were so grateful for the wonderful care he received over the years at The Ottawa Hospital that they actively fundraised for critical hospital priorities, such as the CyberKnife, the new Charlie and Claudette Logue Dermatology Centre, and the Rose Ages Breast Health Centre. They realized that philanthropy was also important to their adult children. The family decided to encourage their friends to inspire generational giving in their families too.  

In August, Phil and Gail hosted a cocktail reception in their backyard with their family, and invited their close friends. They announced, in gratitude for the treatment and care Phil received at The Ottawa Hospital, they would make a significant donation to kidney research. Knowing that the hospital had touched everyone in attendance, the Downeys asked their friends to also consider engaging their own children – the next generation – to support world-class patient care at The Ottawa Hospital. 

The Downey family is paying it forward, knowing their legacy will be shaping the future of health care in Ottawa for generations of Downeys to come.

Michael Baine was on vacation in Florida when the governor general’s office called to tell him he was receiving a Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers.

Mike Baine
Mike Baine has been a table captain at every President’s Breakfast since 2004.

“I was blown away,” said Mike, a dedicated volunteer with The Ottawa Hospital Foundation since 2004. “It’s never something you think about when you are volunteering. For me, I love the work. I love the cause. It was win-win all the time for me.”

The medal, formerly known as the Caring Canadian Award, recognizes and pays tribute to dedicated people, like Mike, who’ve made a significant contribution to the community as a volunteer.

Mike knows many family and friends who have been patients at The Ottawa Hospital, and saw firsthand the great treatment and care they received. In 2004, he heard about the President’s Breakfast fundraising event, and thought it was a “brilliant” way to inform people about outstanding patient care and research at The Ottawa Hospital. Mike offered to host a table and invited nine people to join him.

He and his guests were wowed at the hour-long breakfast, hearing patients talk about how their lives―changed by an accident or illness―were saved by The Ottawa Hospital. They also heard from hospital President and CEO (at the time), Dr. Jack Kitts, who spoke about his health-care vision. These extraordinary stories of healing inspired them to make a donation to the hospital.

“I don’t travel in wealthy circles, but I know people who are committed to people,” said Mike who started teaching with the Ottawa Catholic School Board in 1972 and retired in 2007 as Superintendent of Special Education and Student Services. “My colleagues and friends have all chosen a people profession. They like helping people, so I approached them.”

Mike was so impressed by the incredible testimonials, and got such a great vibe from being there, that every year since he has been a table captain, inviting nine friends to also be inspired. Over the last 14 years, more than 100 people have been Mike’s guests at the President’s Breakfast.

Mike Baine
Mike has been a rider on every Foundation Ride event since it began nine years ago.

“Some of my guests have become table captains themselves. But really, a lot of them are great ambassadors now for The Ottawa Hospital because of the amazing experience that one hour provides,” he said.

Then in 2009, when the Foundation set up a focus group to explore the idea of doing a cycling fundraiser for cancer research, they asked Mike to take part. The group gave the event an enthusiastic thumbs-up. And in 2010, Mike raised money for cancer research, and on September 11, four days before hosting a table at the President’s Breakfast, he got on his bike to pedal the first Ride the Rideau (now known as THE RIDE). He enjoyed the event so much, he signed up the following year and has participated in every ride event since. In September 2018, Mike had a bigger reason to ride after a close friend passed away from cancer. He raised a personal best of $5,000 for The Ottawa Hospital.

“I’ve met so many wonderful people while volunteering. People you get to know because you’re at the same events together,” said Mike. “And you meet the same people on the RIDE or at the finish lines. It becomes part of your life―that kind of philanthropy.”

Mike has also volunteered with CHEO, Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa, and the Youth Services Bureau. Making a difference in the lives of children is another cause close to his heart.

Mike was presented with the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers at a ceremony on April 9, 2019. Congratulations are in order to the other Foundation volunteers who also received this award for their exceptional commitment and tremendous support for The Ottawa Hospital: Gail and Philip Downey, Dr. Lothar Huebsch, and Sheryl McDiarmid.

Kathleen was born in Kemptville, Ontario, in 1906. From an early age, she had a real knack with children that led her to pursue her teaching certification in 1925.

Certificate in hand, Kathleen began teaching in a small, one-room schoolhouse, filled with students from grade one all the way to grade eight. She spent two years moulding minds and teaching the values of compassion, duty, and looking out for one another.

Her keen interest in children only grew in that time and Kathleen decided to take it a step further. She moved to Guelph, where she completed a degree in Household Science in 1929 that enabled her to work as a dietician at Sick Kids in Toronto before resuming her teaching career in Home Economics.

The work was challenging for Kathleen – but also deeply satisfying. While it broke her heart to see little ones suffering so much, it also drove her to do her very best to give them whatever small comfort she could.

In fact, the injustice of small children starting life with such a disadvantage – of lives filled with promise, cut short all too soon by disease – never left her. And it’s what inspired this centenarian to leave a gift in her will that could aid in the training of nurses who wish to specialize in neo-natal care.

Kathleen spent her lifetime dedicated to nurturing our next generation. And that legacy will last for many lifetimes more, thanks to her legacy gift to The Ottawa Hospital.

June 20, 2017, was a day like any other on the construction site, until the 14-inch diamond blade on Adrian Molloy’s power saw jammed in the concrete he was cutting and kicked back into his arm, slicing through to the bone. Though he was not particularly close The Ottawa Hospital’s Trauma Centre at the time, a new 60-minute bypass initiative brought him straight there to an assembled team of trauma experts who were ready for him.

The 40-year-old contractor had been using power saws on the job for 20 years. He was down in a hole cutting concrete when the saw kicked back. He was covered in dust so couldn’t see his arm, but knew he’d hit himself. He grabbed his right arm above the elbow, and his fingers landed on bone. Adrian knew it was a serious injury, and managed to get out of the hole and head to the road for help. His arm was bleeding badly.

“It happened so quickly, I didn’t even know I was injured,” Adrian said.

Adrian Molloy
Contractor Adrian Molloy underwent two four-and-a-half-hour surgeries to repair his partially severed arm.

Quick thinking

At the road, two Hydro One workers were sitting in their truck getting ready to leave. When they saw Adrian, the passenger called 911. The driver jumped out, and quickly took off his belt and tightened it around Adrian’s arm in a tourniquet. He was calm, and kept Adrian talking until the ambulance arrived.

In the ambulance, Adrian heard the paramedics talking with the dispatch.

“I knew they were looking to bypass Kemptville, but didn’t know what was going on,” said Adrian. “I knew my best hope was The Ottawa Hospital, so was happy they said we were heading to the Trauma Centre at the Civic. I was going somewhere where they could handle my injury.”

60-minute bypass initiative

What Adrian didn’t realize was that he was one of the first patients to be part of a quality improvement initiative that the Ottawa Regional Trauma Program was testing in an effort to get patients to trauma care and provide more successful outcomes.

“Adrian was a direct recipient of our 60-minute bypass initiative,” said Mathieu LeBreton, Trauma Coordinator of the Ottawa Regional Trauma Program at The Ottawa Hospital. “Provincially, paramedics have rules that can permit them to bypass local hospitals to get to a lead trauma hospital if they are within 30 minutes of getting to a trauma centre. With the approval of all regional community hospitals, we expanded it to 60 minutes. Much of the literature suggests the sooner a patient receives definitive trauma care, the better.”

Where Adrian was injured was about a 45-minute ambulance drive to the Trauma Centre. Previously, he would’ve had to go to the nearest community hospital. LeBreton said trauma patients who need resuscitation from life-threatening injury need very resource-intensive care. They require more medical staff, access to operating rooms, imaging capabilities, more blood, and other resources that community hospitals do not have in their emergency departments. There is a team of health-care professionals at the Civic Campus specifically trained to deal with trauma situations.

Trauma team assembles

When paramedics notify the Civic Campus Emergency Department that they are bringing in a patient with multiple or life-threatening injuries, a Code 1 Trauma is called over the hospital’s intercom. This alerts the trauma team, which includes trauma surgeons, emergency physicians, nurses, anaesthesiologists, respiratory therapists, and trauma coordinator Mathieu LeBreton, to prepare for the patient’s arrival. A Code 1 Trauma also notifies the blood lab, radiology department, and operating room staff that blood-work, X-Rays, CT scans, and surgery may be needed.

“Sometimes a trauma code comes in without advance notice, and then we’re reacting to it in the moment,” said Kelly Barnett, Clinical Manager of the Trauma Unit. “Everyone has a job, and it’s a code that runs smoothly to diagnose, triage, and save the patient.”

“I’d never been to a hospital injured like this before,” said Adrian. As he lay in the ambulance, his mind raced with concerns. “I asked, ‘Do they know I’m coming? Are they ready for me?’”

Rushed to surgery

The answer was yes. The trauma team was ready and waiting for him when the ambulance arrived. When he was rushed through the emergency room doors, Adrian said he couldn’t believe, “You can get so many people in one room for one patient.” He was in the operating room within 47 minutes from the time he entered the emergency department.

“I knew my best hope was The Ottawa Hospital, so was happy they said we were heading to the Trauma Centre at the Civic. I was going somewhere where they could handle my injury.”

The power saw had cut 75 percent of his right bicep, two arteries and a nerve. In the operating room, surgeons reattached his arm. The four-and-a-half-hour surgery repaired arteries and his severed nerve. He underwent a second four-hour surgery to repair the damaged bicep with a donor muscle in November 2017.

The Ottawa Hospital’s Civic Campus is the adult lead trauma hospital for eastern Ontario. This takes in an area of 1.3 million people that includes Ottawa, stretches west to Pembroke and east to Hawkesbury. People with life-threatening injuries from Gatineau and western Quebec, as well as patients from Baffin Island and eastern Nunavut are brought to the Trauma Centre. Twenty percent of the population it serves lives in a rural area.

The Centre treated 856 trauma cases last year. One hundred and ninety-two of those patients benefited from the extended time guidelines from accident scene to trauma centre, with the average transfer time being 42 minutes.

Trauma care for 1.3 million people

The power saw had cut 75 percent of his right bicep, two arteries and a nerve. In the operating room, surgeons reattached his arm. The four-and-a-half-hour surgery repaired arteries and his severed nerve. He underwent a second four-hour surgery to repair the damaged bicep with a donor muscle in November 2017.

The Ottawa Hospital’s Civic Campus is the adult lead trauma hospital for eastern Ontario. This takes in an area of 1.3 million people that includes Ottawa, stretches west to Pembroke and east to Hawkesbury. People with life-threatening injuries from Gatineau and western Quebec, as well as patients from Baffin Island and eastern Nunavut are brought to the Trauma Centre. Twenty percent of the population it serves lives in a rural area.

The Centre treated 856 trauma cases last year. One hundred and ninety-two of those patients benefited from the extended time guidelines from accident scene to trauma centre, with the average transfer time being 42 minutes.

The eight-bed trauma unit is dedicated to patients who have multiple injuries. This could include head or brain trauma, limb loss, vascular, spinal cord, internal organs, multiple broken bones, broken spine, or neck injuries.

“Patients come into trauma from emerge [emergency department], and once they are stabilized, they then move through the hospital, as soon as possible, in order to get them back home, into rehab, or somewhere they can convalesce,” said Kelly.

Kelly said a patient’s length of stay in the trauma unit can be as short as 24 hours or as long as several months, depending on the severity of the injury and the ability to recover and heal. The health professionals in the Centre plan the patient’s follow up care or work closely with physiotherapy, and rehabilitation services to assess their need for rehabilitation.

“I know we often compare ourselves to similar standards from regional trauma perspectives: other hospitals we benchmark against in standardizing trauma care. We look to hospitals like St. Mikes [St. Michael’s Hospital] in Toronto to see their practices, and share ideas and common goals that we are trying to achieve,” said Kelly.

The Ottawa Hospital is part of the Trauma Association of Canada where members from across the country share vibrant practices about ways to improve patient care.

Hamilton and Kingston also have trauma centres, though The Ottawa Hospital is bigger because of the larger area patients come from.

The Ottawa Hospital has one of the largest trauma centres in the province, with Sunnybrook and St. Michael’s as the two largest. However, both Toronto hospitals cater to a dense urban population. The Ottawa Hospital covers a larger geographical area, so the timing to get patients to the trauma centre from a distance and the reason why the 60-minute bypass initiative is critical.

“What we found is there have been no negative outcomes yet. People like Adrian have benefitted directly from this,” Mathieu said.

Back to work

A year later, Adrian is back on the construction site with full use of his right arm and hand.

“I lost the motion for using a screwdriver. I use it as an excuse to get out of work I don’t like. I use it to my advantage now,” laughed Adrian. “I’m doing everything I was doing before.”

Adrian Molloy with his wife Shelly
Adrian Molloy stands with his wife Shelly outside their home.

Thank you!

Thank you for your incredible support of The Ottawa Hospital. Together, more than $315,000 was raised for patient care and research. Your dedication will make sure patients have access to the most advanced care and technology and will help our researchers push the boundaries for new discoveries. Thank you!

We hope to see you again in 2022!


Our Champions

Fundraising Tools

Check out the great fundraising tools to reach your goal including fundraising tips, emails, social media, and more. We can’t wait to see what you can do!

Step 1: Create a list of potential supporters

Think of everyone you know who would be happy to support you and create a list – friends, family, co-workers, neighbours, etc.

Step 2: Personalize your approach and make the ask!

Think of the best way to contact every person on your list, whether it’s virtually through a video call, by sending an email, or by writing them a letter — personalize your approach to every potential supporter!

Step 3: Get creative and put the “fun” in fundraising

In addition to your letters and emails, we encourage you to get creative and think of a fun activity or event that you can organize to help reach your fundraising goal! While we must adhere to physical distancing guidelines, there are so many options virtually.

Step 4: Reach out to corporate contacts for large donations

Talk to your business networks and see if any companies would be interested in supporting your team! Check out our adopt-a-runner and adopt-a-team forms. A company can sponsor you or your team in exchange for recognition opportunities through Run for a Reason!

Step 5: Always say thank you!

It is incredibly important to always take the time to say “thank you” to your supporters, whether it’s through an email, phone call, or a hand-written card or letter. They played a big part in your fundraising success!

#1 Send a personalized message

Send out a personal email or letter requesting donations. Don’t be shy – ask your friends, family, neighbours, and professional network. Sample text for emails and letters are included in our Fundraising Toolkit.

#2 Get active on social media

Social media is an excellent way to engage with potential donors and create conversation about Run for a Reason! There are many different social media platforms you can use – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tik Tok, a blog, etc. This is a great way to share your journey, provide updates on your fundraising, ask for donations, and show your network what Run for a Reason is all about. Make it fun!

Follow us:

  • Twitter: @OttawaHospital #SupportTOH
  • Facebook: @OttawaHospital
  • Instagram: @OttawaHospital

Sample social media posts:

  • Hey! Check out Run for a Reason – Virtual Edition! I’m running to support @OttawaHospital! Help me reach my fundraising goal of $_____! #SupportTOH #IStartHere
  • I’m running __km to support the future of healthcare @OttawaHospital! #SupportTOH #IStartHere
  • Lace up and join me as I Run for a Reason supporting @OttawaHospital. Virtual teamwork makes it so much more fun! #SupportTOH  #IStartHere
  • I do the run for _____ (my mom, my dad, my neighbour, my best friend) and support @OttawaHospital. #SupportTOH #IStartHere


  • Be sure to add a picture and get more attention on social media!
  • Include the link to your fundraising page.
  • If you are going to walk, simply change Run to Walk in the sample social media.
  • Share several times on social media. You’ll be amazed by who donates or even joins your team.

#3 Personalize your fundraising page

Get creative and have fun! Update your fundraising page on Race Roster to include your picture, why you run or walk, and your fundraising goal to support The Ottawa Hospital. Our team is here to help you cross the fundraising finish line, which will help support ground-breaking research at The Ottawa Hospital.

Register your public fundraising event for Run for a Reason by contacting with the following information:

  • Event Name
  • Date
  • Time
  • Location
  • Organizer contact information

Any other details (cost, what to bring, what to wear, who can take part, etc.)
We’ll be happy to share it on social!

#4 Ask corporate sponsors

Think about your corporate networks and use our personal sponsorship forms to ask for large donations—follow the links below. By Adopting a Team, a company will:

  • Have their name appear in The Ottawa Hospital Journal, a newsletter distributed to 10,000 employees of The Ottawa Hospital.
  • Have their name appear on The Ottawa Hospital Foundation website.

A company will also receive some the same benefits from Adopting an Individual!

#5 Go old school

Download the Run for a Reason pledge form. Using your online fundraising page and this pledge form is a great way to combine online fundraising with the traditional kind!

#6 FUNdraising milestones

Another fun way to reach your fundraising goal is to attach your fundraising to major events, celebrations, and holidays. Here are some examples:

  • Birthday Celebration — Instead of receiving gifts on your birthday, ask for donations towards your run.
  • Anniversary — Have friends and family celebrate a special anniversary by making a donation to your fundraising campaign.
  • Virtual Lunch – While we can’t host in-person events yet, you can still connect via Zoom, Teams, or Skype. Bring a group of work colleagues together to share your story about Why You Run. Maybe something on St. Patrick’s Day, around Easter, or the first day of spring. Have your colleagues dress-up to your theme. Ask them to support your run – even a $5 donation will have an impact!

Update your email signature

Let your network know you will Run for a Reason. Add this icon to your email signature.

Sample emails

Recruit team members

Subject: Let’s move in 2021!


Dear __,

What could be better than running or walking to change lives and support The Ottawa Hospital? The training is good for our health; as a virtual team, we’ll have fun and we’ll be supporting the most important healthcare centre in eastern Ontario – The Ottawa Hospital.

It’s win, win, win!

Join me anytime from May 1 — 31, 2021, as I will be taking part in Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. But I won’t just be crossing the virtual finish line for the fun of it; I’ll also be raising important funds for The Ottawa Hospital and I’d love it if you would join me in the fun!

It’s so easy!  We don’t have to take part in the same event and you can run OR walk.  We’ll be fundraising together for a cause that’s important to all of us—world-class healthcare for those we love.

After you’ve signed up, you can ask your friends and family to support our fundraising efforts by making a donation to your online fundraising page.

Registration is simple (Share link to your fundraising team page). Visit my team page, click join team, and register through Race Roster! There will be an option to join an existing team during the registration process.

If you’d like more information, contact The Ottawa Hospital Foundation at 613-798-5555, ext. 19832, or by e-mail at You can also visit the website at


Ask People to Sponsor You

Subject: Let’s help change lives!

Dear __,

Sometime between May 1 – 31, 2021, I will Run for a Reason and support The Ottawa Hospital at the Virtual Edition of Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. I’ll do the hard work, but I need your help to raise these vital funds. I hope you will consider making a donation in support of my run. When I cross the finish line, I’ll be smiling and thinking of you!

Together, we can help change lives! We’ll also be ensuring researchers at The Ottawa Hospital can continue to make advancements in diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, and many more.

Donate now! (share the link to your fundraising page)


Send a cheque payable to “The Ottawa Hospital Foundation”. The address is below:

Run for a Reason
c/o The Ottawa Hospital Foundation
737 Parkdale Avenue, 1st floor
Ottawa, ON K1Y 1J8

Make sure you include my name on the envelope, or in the notes section of the cheque. You can also add a note if you choose to have your donation remain anonymous.

If you love to run or walk, you can also join me and raise funds for The Ottawa Hospital. Visit to register!

Your support is tremendous — thank you!

Thank your sponsors email

Subject: Thank you for donating to my Run for a Reason

You are incredible!

Thank you for supporting my Run for a Reason and The Ottawa Hospital. You are helping to change lives. I couldn’t have done this without you!

Thanks again for your support!

Join our Champions in the 2021 virtual edition of Run for a Reason!

Thank you for supporting The Ottawa Hospital!

If you have questions, or would like to share your successes or concerns, please contact our Run for a Reason team.
We would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

For more information email or call 613-798-5555 ext. 19832.


At the forefront of research and discovery

We are determined to remain at the forefront of research and discovery that will directly translate into improved treatment and outcomes for patients. It is your support that allows us to trailblaze toward new discoveries and uphold the level of excellence for which we are internationally recognized.

3 of the top 5 methods used by American hospital emergency rooms to reduce unnecessary procedures come from The Ottawa Hospital.

The Ottawa Ankle Rules, The Wells Rule and The Canadian C-spine Rule are a direct result of physician-scientist research being done in Ottawa, and they are saving hospitals millions worldwide.

“Every gift has an impact. Donor support means our researchers have access to world-class equipment and resources to enable critical breakthroughs in basic and clinical research. State-of-the-art resources can make all the difference, leading to breakthroughs that save lives and improve care.” – Dr. Duncan Stewart, Executive VP Research, The Ottawa Hospital


patients enrolled in clinical trials


scientific papers published in 2018


researchers at The Ottawa Hospital