The Right Thing to Do

"St. Michael’s Hospital provides such a valuable service to a tremendously diverse community in downtown Toronto and I think people should be aware and grateful for the care they receive," says Walter Winogradow, a retired bookstore manager living in Toronto.

Walter’s love and appreciation for St. Michael’s spans several decades. Both of his parents, George and Lieselotte Winogradow, received first-rate, compassionate care at St. Michael’s over the years. In 2010, Walter’s father George was admitted with severe back pain. From there, doctors discovered a host of medical complications that would ultimately contribute to George’s death within a week.

It was such a sad and difficult time for my mother and myself,” says Walter. “But everyone at the hospital was wonderful and the care they delivered during his last few days was phenomenal.

At the age of 90, Walter’s mother Lieselotte was diagnosed with cancer at St. Michael’s. She first arrived in the Emergency Department with a bleed and was administered a blood transfusion. But after scans revealed cancer the situation became much more serious. After thorough medical consultations with numerous St. Michael’s experts, the Winogradows opted for surgical intervention to remove the cancer. Doctors were confident that Walter’s mother was strong enough to undergo the life-saving procedure.

“They were so thorough with her when discussing treatment options,” says Walter. “That’s something I’ve always been so grateful about. We discussed chemo and radiation and decided that, at her age, surgery was probably the best route with the highest chance of survival.”

Walter’s mother had a successful recovery and, with support provided by homecare specialists and regular appointments at St. Michael’s Elders’ Clinic, Lieselotte was able to spend the last year of her life living at home with her son. She passed away at the age of 91 while receiving palliative care at Providence Healthcare.

“I was convinced five years ago about the importance of donating to St. Michael’s Hospital and it just feels like the right thing to do – it’s a small but necessary thing, but it’s the right thing to do,” says Walter. “My family has been so lucky to receive wonderful care here over the years and I feel we need to show our gratitude in some way.”

In grateful acknowledgement of the care his parents received over the years, Walter included a bequest to St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation in his will.