Harvey and Patricia Winney's Gift

Harvey Winney was an incredibly hardworking, resolute man who spent 23 years helping to build the Canadian National Railroad system. Occasionally, however, Harvey would make time to horse around – literally. Harvey had a friend who owned a horse farm, and it was one sunny afternoon on the farm that Harvey met the love of his life, Pat. Pat was visiting the farm with friends and following an afternoon of riding, was returning to the barn when the horse she was riding took off erratically. “Harvey was able to catch up with the horse, get a hold of his reins, and calm him right down before I was injured,” says Pat. A week later Harvey arrived at Pat’s house and the couple began a courtship that would lead to a 61 year marriage.

Harvey was an avid golfer. One afternoon while out on the greens, he noticed the air he was breathing started to feel cold in his lungs. This prompted a fateful visit to his family doctor. Harvey was fitted with a monitor for a week and eventually diagnosed with angina, a type of chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart.

“I remember sitting with Harvey in his later years when he turned to me and asked, ‘Honey, if we could afford it, do you think we could do something really nice for St. Mike’s?’” — Pat Winney

Harvey’s first introduction to St. Michael’s Hospital was just a few weeks later when he was admitted to have an angioplasty. But after the surgery and being followed by St. Michael’s cardiologists, he was told he would require a quadruple bypass. The four-hour operation was a resounding success, with Harvey’s cardiologist, Dr. Robert Chisholm, ordering Harvey back on the golf course within two weeks.

“Harvey and I have been to several hospitals throughout our lives and consistently, I’ve had nothing but good experiences with St. Michael’s Hospital,” says Pat Winney, Harvey’s adoring wife and now widow. “Since we lived in Fort Erie it wasn’t always feasible to get to St. Michael’s, so there were occasions when he would need to be treated elsewhere,” says Pat. “But I hated to see him in another hospital because he wasn’t treated the same way; he didn’t receive the same calibre of care that was guaranteed at St. Michael’s.”

Years later, Harvey passed away due to natural causes. But before he died, Pat recalls a pivotal conversation she had with her late husband.

“I remember sitting with Harvey in his later years when he turned to me and asked, ‘Honey, if we could afford it, do you think we could do something really nice for St. Mike’s?’” Harvey described the incredible care he received and recalled the hospital’s efficiency and impressive fiscal accountability. “There was nothing in St. Michael’s that wasn’t absolutely necessary for patients or doctors,” says Pat.

In acknowledgement of her profound gratitude and in accordance with Harvey’s wishes, Pat has generously included St. Michael’s Foundation as a beneficiary in her will.