Patient Stories

Meet the Handrahans – Grateful for Care


May 16, 2018
  There are no planned accidents. You never know when an accident will happen. But, when Bernard and Sharon Handrahan were in a car accident this February, the team at Prince County Hospital was ready and fully equipped to help them. Though it was a “write off,” their van and its air bags kept them alive despite hitting a tree so hard that their headlights were now facing each other. “We hit it right in the middle,” said Bernard in a recent PCH Foundation interview. “If it had been more right or left, there’d only be one of us here. I was stunned. I knew Sharon was hurt, but I couldn’t move. I couldn’t even check if she was okay.” Sharon was not, in fact, okay. The couple from Christopher’s Cross (just outside of Tignish) was rushed to the PCH Emergency Department. Through Digital Radiography (x-rays) and numerous other tests, it was a determined Sharon had several fractured ribs, as well as a collapsed lung and would need emergency surgery. “It was amazing,” she said. “Before I knew it, they had diagnosed me. You get to see them all work and it’s a well-oiled machine. They all have their jobs … View full news story.

Refitting the ORs


May 30, 2017
“It is unimaginable to think what our story would be if these services were not available at the PCH.” That is the sentiment Lori Pomeroy expressed when she discussed the life saving surgery her son Campbell received at the Prince County Hospital two years ago. He was rushed to the Emergency Department at the PCH with what the family thought were flu-like symptoms that were persisting for days. However, Campbell’s body was quickly “shutting down” and he required emergency surgery.  While in surgery, it was discovered that his bowel had twisted and ruptured and he was septic. It was determined he had Meckel’s Diverticulum and consequently he had 60cm of his small intestine removed that day.  “It was a very intense situation and doctors told us ideally he would be airlifted to IWK,” says Lori. “However, he was not stable enough to be transported.  He did not have time.  So, without the teams in Emergency services, the Operating Room, and the equipment used that day at the PCH, our son would not have made it. We are forever grateful that we can share this miraculous story.” This surgery and many others have been possible because of the team in Surgical … View full news story.

My Personal Care Hospital Gordon MacFarlane


May 8, 2015
On an ordinary day last winter, Gordon MacFarlane was in Pownal at a hockey tournament with his son, Matt. Before lunch he began to feel an all too familiar nausea, followed by intense pain. Leaving his son with another parent he began to make his way to Prince County Hospital (PCH). He called his mother in Stanley Bridge, saying he didn’t think he could make it home and would come there. He coasted into his mother’s driveway where she would find him slumped over the wheel of his car. She called an ambulance and he was rushed to PCH.   Over the years, Gordon has had numerous surgeries as a result of the ulcerative colitis he’s had since age 15. The condition is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers and led to the removal of Gordon’s lower intestine over the course of two operations in 2003 and 2007 and replaced by stretching and expanding his small intestine. Those surgeries, coupled with a liver transplant performed in 2005, means that Gordon has significant scar tissue in his abdomen, strands of which occasionally attach to his small intestine, kinking it. The liver transplant has also meant a number of … View full news story.
My Personal Care Hospital Gordon MacFarlane

Mendoza Family –  Our Personal Care Hospital


April 22, 2015
For the Mendoza family, PCH doesn’t just stand for Prince County Hospital – for them it has become the Personal Care Hospital.  Since Mitchell (20) was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2006, they have become family at PCH.  When they walk into the Emergency Department or the Maternal Child Care Unit, they are instantly recognized.  Over the years this chronic disease has led Mitchell through PCH for treatment and testing in the ever-growing need to understand and combat this disease.  Whether receiving testing in the laboratory, being admitted for pain through Emergency, receiving a scope or an iron infusion in the Endoscopy service of Ambulatory Care, or spending time in Paediatrics, Mitchell has become accustomed to the hallways of his personal care hospital. It is this personal care received from their PCH family that has carried the Mendoza family through tough times over the years. Mitchell beams as he talks of care close to home and how it is truly his community caring for him. “We knew 6 nurses personally when I was first admitted. I knew 3 of my nurses in my surgery and even my family doctor scrubbed in just to make sure everything went alright.  My next … View full news story.
Mendoza Family –  Our Personal Care Hospital

Anna Smith – How I Spent My March Break


April 22, 2015
How I Spent My March Break – with Anna Smith Over the course of two months, ten-year-old Anna Smith developed what was thought to be a mole that didn’t seem abnormal, but became increasingly annoying. One Sunday she noticed a hard ball under the spot on her left arm. By Wednesday there was a dime-sized red circle around the spot. By the following day it had grown to the size of a toonie and had become a great concern to both her and her mother Lisa. “It really bugged me,” Anna explained. “I didn’t know what it was.” That evening, Anna and her mother made a trip to the Emergency Department (ED) at PCH. The spot was diagnosed as an infection and an antibiotic was prescribed to clear it up. In the case of Anna’s infection, an abscess was evident from the appearance of the skin and the feel of the area, but the first round of antibiotics were ineffective, as was a second antibiotic and the infection continued to spread. With the infection still growing aggressively, Anna and her mother returned to the ED and were seen by Dr. Steven MacNeill who diagnosed the infection as cellulitis. Dr. MacNeill, … View full news story.
Anna Smith – How I Spent My March Break

The Hockin Family, Grateful for Quality Care


April 21, 2015
Nao Hockin was aware that she would be delivering her baby earlier than usual. She was admitted to PCH on Wednesday, February 20th and at 36 weeks Nao’s labour was induced. She was in mild labour throughout the day, however that all intensified when her water broke at 5:00 pm. Baby girl Rina Hockin was born February 21st at 1:39 am. She was 4 weeks early and weighed 4 lbs, 2 ozs. Due to her early arrival, Tim and Nao did not know what complications may arise or if their baby would be able to breathe on her own. With a room full of healthcare professionals including Dr. Freeman, Dr. Farag, Respiratory Therapist Abdul Rahma and Nursing staff, the Panda iRes Infant Warmer was prepared. This new technology was imperative in baby Rina’s first moments. The unit provides the necessary warmth but also had the ability to measure her oxygen saturation. Fortunately, PCH was equipped with the Infant Warmers as the Foundation recently purchased two units in 2012 thanks to the generous donations received from the community. “She was so small that she was not able to maintain her body heat,” says new father Tim Hockin, “but luckily she was … View full news story.
The Hockin Family, Grateful for Quality Care

Gary Naylor


April 21, 2015
On November 7th, 2004, a Sunday like any other, Gary Naylor was sitting in church when he felt an immense pain in his abdomen. Gary rushed to the Prince County Hospital to receive the diagnosis that would save his life. Having barely sat down in the waiting area, he was ushered into a room to be checked. Luckily for Gary, PCH was equipped with a portable ultrasound. Dr. Scott Cameron used this versatile piece of equipment to get a visual of what was happening in Mr. Naylor’s body. Gary was in the midst of an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (also known as AAA). A ballooning of the abdominal aorta exceeding the normal diameter by more than 50 percent, an AAA can cause pain in the abdomen and back (due to pressure on surrounding tissues). Mr. Naylor doesn’t recall a moment from then on when Dr. Cameron was not by his side, until the helicopter arrived to whisk him off to Halifax where a stint was placed in the aorta. It is this type of quick diagnosis made possible by the portable Ultrasound that saves lives weekly in the Emergency Room at Prince County Hospital. “It was all very well done. And … View full news story.
Gary Naylor

Marilla Millar


April 21, 2015
For years Marilla Millar has been the one giving exceptional care. The Ellerslie foster parent has been responsible for the lives of 128 children since 1974. She will be recognized with a honourary degree this spring at UPEI for her dedication to foster parenting. But it is the exceptional care she received at Prince County Hospital that resonates with Mrs. Millar. Two years ago this very special woman suddenly found herself extremely ill. She was rushed to PCH for medical attention. To determine what was ailing Marilla, a colonoscope was performed in the Ambulatory Care Department at PCH. The results of which were less than desirable…it was cancer. She was diagnosed in May and surgery was performed on June 1st to remove part of her bowel. Two weeks later she began an intense six months of chemotherapy. “The girls in the treatment centre were marvelous,” says Marilla, speaking of staff in the Oncology Unit at PCH. “They explained everything they were doing. My experience at the hospital was the best of care,” she said. She also stressed the importance of a positive attitude. “They told me that if I hadn’t had this (procedure) done, I would have had 2 years … View full news story.
Marilla Millar