A Message of Thanks

Patient grateful to have an Emergency Department close to home

Anita Hillis-Krause of PortDover had just returned home from an enjoyable get-a-way ata cottage in northern Ontario during the summer when she started feeling a bit off. Anita, thinking the problem was from severe allergies, went to bed early that evening hoping to feel better. Instead of improving, Anita’scondition worsened throughout the night and her instincts told her that something was wrong.

“I knew something wasn’t right;I was having difficulty breathing,” said Anita. “It felt like my whole body was coughing and working to get some air in. That’s when I asked my husband to take me to the hospital.” Anita’s husband, Peter, reacted swiftly and rushed his wife to the Norfolk General Hospital’sEmergency Department (ED). When they arrived, Anita was barely able to stand and her breathing was worsening. “I was terrified. I actually thought that I might possibly die,” said Anita.

NGH physicians and staff respond quickly

Once inside the ED, Anita received care from a triage nurse who took immediate action. Anita was then assessed by a specialist within minutes and was quickly placed on oxygen and was stabilized.

She also underwent several tests, including X-rays, a CT scan, and bloodwork, so physicians could determine the cause of the underlying issue. Anita said every staff member that she encountered was so reassuring and comforting as they navigated her through procedures with which she was unfamiliar.

“The doctors and nurses at the emergency Department were very compassionate and caring. They kept coming in to check on me and answered all my questions,” Anita said. “The staff did a fantastic job, and I’m thankful we have an emergency department in Norfolk County.”


Anita was later admitted to the hospital and was placed in the intensive care unit (ICU), for 24hours and then was moved to the medical floor. During Anita’s four-day stay at NGH, she was transported to hamilton General for additional testing, including an angiogram. Anita said nurses at NGHprepared her in advance of the procedure and helped keep her calm in what was a terrifying experience for her.
“Please know that every staff person with which I had contact with was amazing. Due toCOVID restrictions, my husband Peter was unable to visit. It was such a frightening situation to navigate alone, without family support. The staff at NGH filled those gaps with such compassion and care.”

Anita back on the road to recovery

Test results later determined that Anita was suffering from pneumonia and mild heart failure. The news came as a shock to Anita, as she has never suffered from any health problems in the past and she lives a healthy lifestyle. Anita is now at home and recovering well.
Anita took the time to share her story as she wanted to express her gratitude to our staff and physicians who helped save her life.

“I cannot begin to fully express my gratitude for everyone that touched my life, during my stay at NGH. Their care and

staff outside NGH Emergency Department

support were so huge to me. My husband and I truly felt that I might have died had we not arrived at the NGH when we did.”

At Norfolk General Hospital, we strive to provide the best and timely care to the community that we serve. We have specialists available around the clock to treat very sick patients. Anita received the appropriate treatment, the doctors made sure she was breathing normally, and she was able to return home within days.

Anita is thankful NGH is nearby.

“If anything ever happened to me again or to someone I know, I would have them over at Norfolk General Hospital in a heartbeat because I am confident that they would be well cared for.”

Thank you, Anita, for having the courage to share your story and to let our staff and physicians know of your gratitude. We appreciate it.


Aaron Gautreau is the Director of Communications & Public Relations at
Norfolk General Hospital & West Haldimand General Hospital