Heather’s Story

For the past 20 years, relying on the hospital for care has become the norm for Heather Thiessen.

She suffers from multiple sclerosis and myasthenia gravis, two diseases that have led to many visits to the emergency room and stays in the Intensive Care Unit. She has fought her ongoing battle with the support of a number of doctors and medical professionals.

Heather now gives back to the Saskatoon Health Region and the RUH Foundation, providing advice based on her extensive experience as a patient.

“I’ve always admired the work the Foundation does and the support they provide,” she says. “Anything that can make the journey easier for the next patient, I will do.”

Heather speaks about RUH’s new Adult Emergency Department scheduled for completion late in 2019, as one project she is excited to be involved in.

“It feels for me like it was designed with feedback from patients,” she says. From the colours to the privacy to a fast-track area, the design process has been well thought out, according to Heather.

Dr. Shaw, an RUH physician, Co-Director of Physician Advocacy and Leadership with the Saskatchewan Medical Association, and Chair of the Health Quality Council, has a passion for patient care and understands how it affects patients like Heather.

“With a growing population, the additional pressure on the hospital can lead to challenges for patients,” says Dr. Shaw. “In the worst moments of someone’s life, when they need to seek out emergency care, it’s important they have access to the best doctors with the best possible tools. We need the support of donors and people like Heather, who give their money and time to give our patients and their families the best possible experience.”

Heather and Dr. Shaw first met nearly 20 years ago when Dr. Shaw was a resident at RUH. The two of them crossed paths often over the years, and their relationship has evolved from patient and doctor to team members and friends, as they work together to enhance patient care.

“The patient is the only one who sees their journey from beginning to end,” Heather says. “That patient as a team member is making the care better.”

Become a SUPPORTE.R. of RUH Foundation’s GREATE.R. Campaign to help equip and furnish RUH’s new Adult Emergency Department to excel care of patients and their families when every second counts.

To make a donation or learn more about The GREATE.R. Campaign, please click here or contact Lisa Laskowski, Chief Development Officer, at 306.655.6530.