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As a grateful patient; Walt Long encourages others to tune into upcoming Radiothon



When longtime Port Dover resident, Walt Long reflects on Norfolk General Hospital, he often has a grin on his face and a special feeling in his heart. There have been both moments of hilarity and such tender care. It’s a perfect reason why Walt will be tuned in to the Hospital Radiothon on CD 98.9fm, October 17, and he’s encouraging others to do the same.

Walt quickly recalls an incident when he was a visitor at the hospital and had been mistaken as a patient. He was ordered to get his gown back on and return to bed. “I’m not who you think I am, look at me” pleaded Walt. The nurse soon realized she’d made a mistake and they both ended up having a good laugh.

During another occasion, Walt gave a housekeeper a view she won’t soon forget, nor will Walt forget the look he left on her face. “You can’t tell a nurse from an aide these days,” said Walt, who had got in a habit of showing everyone who came into his room the work that the doctor had performed on his prostate. “What a day I had,” said Walt.

Regardless of the lighter moments, Walt’s made a firm pledge. “If I ever hear anyone say something derogatory about NGH or the staff, they’ve got me to deal with, because I’m a strong supporter. Not only for the excellent care I’ve received, but for the way they’ve treated my wife and my close friends. Anytime I’ve been connected up there, they have always gone out of their way.”

Walt remains forever grateful for the care his wife Barbara received just this past mother’s day at NGH. He remembers seeing many of the same staff throughout her stay. “I swear it seems some of those girls never go home. Morning, night, they don’t slow down, they just go full gallop, it’s unbelievable.”

What else is significant was the tremendous level of care Barbara received while she was there. Walt felt inclined to personally thank the nurses for being so caring and attentive. As they were ready to leave, he approached the head nurse to say goodbye. “I want to tell you, your staff is unbelievable.”   The nurse was taken aback. “We don’t hear that very much, I don’t know what to say,” the nurse replied. “Can I ask you do me a favour? Just give me a hug, would ya,” Walt was obliged.

“I don’t think people realize the value of having our hospital, many take it for granted. If you haven’t had to use the facilities, then you may just think of it as a building. Somehow we have to hammer it home. Our hospital is part of our life and we really need to dedicate ourselves to it. It’s one of those things. Your school, your church, your health care. You have to have somewhere to go and our local hospital is the place that has to be dominant and it has to be staffed with people that really care. I think we are so fortunate that we have that here.”

On October 17, Walt Long encourages others across the county to tune into the Hospital Radiothon on CD 98.9fm and get some of their questions answered, learn more about the services and the expertise of the staff.

It is also important that people understand the needs of the hospital and the importance of upgrading and maintaining health care technology. “This hospital is here because they have a special love for people. We would probably be destitute if we didn’t have NGH. We’d have to go to Brantford or Hamilton. Simcoe is 15 minutes away, in a city, that’s two or three blocks away. It’s like having a hospital in your very own backyard. I would do anything to help keep it here.”

Jason Harnett

Communications Development Officer

Norfolk General Hospital & Foundation

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