patient stories

Each story is a treasure and in sharing your experiences, our whole community is enriched.

We hope you enjoy reading our Patient Stories.


Janice & Norm Jackson
Grateful Patients

“The care we both received during and after our surgeries was beyond our expectations.”

Having been lifelong residents of Muskoka we have seen many changes to our local hospital over the years. Aside from the birth of our children in the 1960’s and a few minor issues we had not had a great deal of need for it.

However, 2001 was an eventful year as we both found ourselves requiring unexpected surgery. One in March, the other in Nov.

The care we both received during and after our surgeries was beyond our expectations.

The entire medical staff was amazing. One could not have been in better hands. We consider ourselves most fortunate to have this wonderful facility in our region.


Janice & Norm Jackson

Tilson Family
A Mother’s Story

“We truly feel we’re part of the hospital’s family now.”

I’m Johanna Tilson and this testimonial is on behalf of my husband Kerry and my two daughters, Julia and Rachel.

I’m here to tell you about how important it is to have the CT scanner here at South Muskoka Hospital, close to home.

I’ll never forget November 24th, 2006. My daughter Julia called me at work and said she had a terrible headache and that the back of her neck hurt. She told me she thought she was going to die and for me to please hurry.

I dashed over to her school and by the time I arrived, she’d lost consciousness. We went by ambulance to South Muskoka Hospital and within a very short period of time, she had a CT scan.

All the hospital staff were so responsive to us – they showed us they cared at every opportunity. There was this atmosphere of concern – we knew even without them saying anything, that they cared and they tried to do everything to comfort us.

The doctor told us the CT had shown that Julia had bleeding on the brain. With this information and Julia now in a coma, she was airlifted to a special paediatric hospital in Ottawa. I went in the helicopter with Julia while my husband Kerry went home, packed our suitcases, and followed us by car.

The nurses at South Muskoka helped prepare me as I waited for the helicopter. They thought of everything – packing a lunch for Kerry’s long drive, Gravol for me and saline solution for my contacts.

Julia had surgery in Ottawa and came out of her coma 11 days later. Julia had a second surgery and we go down to Toronto periodically for follow-up observations.

Since Julia’s incident, everyone at South Muskoka has been keeping tabs on us – we’ve been back a few times and we truly feel we’re part of the hospital’s family now.

I’d like to relay something my husband Kerry told one of the nurses and I feel the same way: he told them that although they may call themselves doctors and nurses, to us you’ll always be our angels.

That’s because, on a Friday in November, you responded to our call for help. If it wasn’t for the South Muskoka Hospital and the CT scanner, I don’t know where we’d be today.

Please read the testimonial from my daughter Rachel, Julia’s sister, who wants to tell you about what she did, with the help of her cousin Bradley, to support the campaign for the CT scanner.

Rachel Tilson
A Big Heart for A Little Girl

“She just wanted to help other kids, just like her sister.”

When Rachel was eight-years old, she made a speech about what happened when her sister got sick. Five years, later, Rachel’s words still resound – after all, she just wanted to help other kids, just like her sister.

When my sister Julia got sick and was in the hospital, I went to my Aunt Silvia’s house. My cousin Bradley suggested that I knit headbands with my Grandma and we could sell them to donate the money to the hospital.

We want to help other kids, not just Julia, but other sick kids too. So we sold a lot of headbands and have raised over $400 for the campaign. We bought a stuffed cat so other kids can hold on to it if they are scared to go in the cat scan machine.

Update: Rachel & Bradley have raised more than $1,000 for the CT scanner.

Mark Sherk
Active cottage family needs cottage hospital

“I’m so thankful that a well-equipped hospital with excellent staff is so close by. “

Over the years that we’ve been cottaging in Muskoka, we’ve had to use the services of the Bracebridge Hospital on a number of occasions. My wife, Carrie, sliced her hand while washing dishes, I fell while trimming trees and my daughter, Brianne punctured her foot jumping on the trampoline. We’re an active family and we enjoy working and playing at our cottage on Lake Muskoka. Each and every time we’ve needed the services of our cottage hospital – they’ve been there for us, providing excellent medical care and treating us with care and compassion.

One summer when my 13-year-old daughter Caroline took a rough fall when wakeboarding. She had what they call a third degree concussion and has actually lost her memory of that day. At the hospital, because of the severity of Caroline’s case, we knew we were being fast-tracked. Thankfully, the doctor could tell from the CT scan that although there was some swelling, there wasn’t any bleeding on Caroline’s brain. The doctor advised that Caroline stay for observation. During the next two days, the staff monitored her closely and did a second CT scan for comparison. The treatment and care we received at Bracebridge hospital was nothing short of outstanding.

As active cottagers enjoying all the recreational opportunities Muskoka has to offer, having a CT scanner at the hospital gives us great peace of mind. We spend approximately 25 percent of our time at the cottage and during that time, engage in higher risk activities than what we typically do in the city. I’m so thankful that a well-equipped hospital with excellent staff is so close by. We are supporting the Foundation and I hope you’ll consider doing the same.

Share Your Story

Each story is a treasure and in sharing your experiences, our whole community is enriched. If you have a story to share, please complete the form below, or contact the Foundation office at (705) 645-4404 ext. 3193.

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