As we immerse ourselves in the festive cheer and warmth of the Christmas season, I want to share a personal story that echoes the profound messages of this special time of year.
This past summer, I faced an unexpected challenge. I contracted Legionella bacteria from a hot tub in PEI. This is extremely rare and serious. In my case, the bacteria caused a severe case of pneumonia that blocked three-quarters of my lung capacity within a matter of days. This landed me in the ICU for twelve days, including a harrowing five days when I was sedated, intubated, and reliant on life support.
During this critical time, the medical team at Valley Regional Hospital – comprised of dedicated nurses, skilled respiratory therapists, and exceptional doctors – became my lifeline. They steered me back to health with commitment and care that went far beyond their professional duties. They will say they were just doing their job, but in my mind, they saved my life. I am immensely grateful for their service and humanity.
This experience, while daunting, also brought into sharp focus the invaluable role of family and friends. They were my rock. Whether it was their reassuring presence beside my hospital bed, comforting words in a card or email, or simply looking after things while I was hospitalized, their support was a testament to our bonds of love and care.
Moreover, this ordeal has given me a renewed perspective on life. It served as a stark reminder to cherish each day, to live life to the fullest, and to never take for granted the time we have with our loved ones. Life can change in the blink of an eye.
As we observe and celebrate this holiday season, let’s remember the importance of cherishing each moment, the power of human kindness and connection, the richness of health, and the value of gratitude. These intangible gifts are infinitely more valuable than money or fame.
Wishing you, your family, and everyone around you a season filled with love, hope, and warmth.