Mary Says a Heartfelt Thanks


Mary Sokol helped plan a fundraising dinner last fall at Thanksgiving with the Polish Ladies Circle – little did she know, a few months later, she would be a patient at the Hospital for approximately six weeks after a very serious Streptococcus infection nearly cost her her life. She is very grateful to the many physicians, nurses, administrators and everyone that contributed to the wonderful care she received and will continue to advocate for donations to ensure equipment is available for future patients. 

By Heather Vita - June 28, 2017

When Mary Sokol helped plan a fundraising dinner last Thanksgiving with the Polish Ladies Circle, she had no idea she’d be the recipient of care made possible thanks to the funds raised for the Northern Cardiac Fund.

Fast forward a few months and Mary found herself in Hawaii, enjoying a beautiful winter holiday, when her leg became quite swollen. It got progressively worse and Mary ended up needing emergency surgery where her leg was cut open on both sides. After two weeks recovery in Waikiki, she was flown home and admitted at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.

It was determined that Mary’s leg was swollen due to a Group A Streptococcus Infection and her situation was very, very serious.  “I was told I was lucky to be alive, nevermind able to keep my leg,” she recalled. “One doctor told me that I was only able to recover as I was a strong, healthy woman. If I’d had any other issues, I probably wouldn’t have survived this.”

Mary wrote notes of thanks to many on her healthcare team. Here are just a few:

“You take the time to do the job right. I appreciate your kindness and skill as a doctor.”

“You take the time to listen and make your patients feel valued and respected. It’s obvious you love what you do, because you are very good at it.”

“You are kind people who surrounded me with respect and trust, who helped me when I really needed help. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Just recently Mary returned home after a long stay at the Health Sciences Centre and further time at St. Joseph’s Care Group for rehabilitation.  Her time in both facilities allowed her to observe and comment on the care she received. “I’m so grateful to all the doctors, nurses, administrators and everyone at the hospital,” she said. “They were kind and provided wonderful care while I was in a lot of pain. Most importantly they saved my leg and kept me alive!” Mary’s infection ensured she met with a variety of physicians – from Intensive Care, to Nephrology, to Orthopedics, Plastics and beyond.

“I watched many interactions with other patients too,” she said. “Wherever I went in the Hospital, people were treated so well. I think we are so lucky to have the facility that we do, and now more than ever, I can see the impact that our community has on making sure we continue to have a top-notch facility.”

Mary has a long journey ahead and she continues to recover from her infection, but one thing is for certain. She will always make time to celebrate the difference that our Hospital team makes in the lives of their patients, and she will continue to be an advocate for donations to the Health Sciences Foundation to ensure equipment is ready for the next patient who arrives needing care.

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