The Queen Elizabeth Hospital has always been important to Paul and MaryBeth McGrath, who reside in Massachusetts, but have spent their summers in PEI since 1969.
“I have been coming to PEI every summer for over 60 years,” says MaryBeth, whose parents made the same annual trek to the Island to visit family near Bedford. “When Paul and I started our own family, we continued the tradition of spending our summers on the North Shore. We absolutely love it here and so do our five children and three grandchildren.”
“Over the years, we have relied heavily on the services of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital,” remarks Paul. “In 1992, our son Dave had an inoperable brain tumour, but was still able to come to PEI for the summer because the healthcare services were available and his regimen of blood testing could be continued at the QEH. It meant a lot to our family to be able to continue our summer visits to PEI while Dave was undergoing cancer treatment.”
During Old Home Week, the QEH Foundation hosted an event at Red Shores as an opportunity to connect with seasonal residents and donors during their summer visit to the Island.
“We have many people, like the McGraths, who consider PEI their second home, as well as many Islanders who live away, but come home to visit family and friends during Old Home Week,” says Barb Dunphy, Chief Executive Officer of the QEH Foundation. “We knew we had the perfect venue at the historic Judges Tower at Red Shores Driving Park and are grateful to the Parkdale Sherwood Lions Club for sponsoring the event.”
Dunphy adds that many Islanders have relatives who live in other provinces and countries while maintaining a strong connection to the Island. The QEH Foundation hopes this will become an annual event to help spread the word about the medical equipment needs of the Hospital that total over $5 million each year. American visitors who want to lend their support can donate to the US Friends of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organization, which was established in 2002.
“There would be very few seasonal residents who haven’t been to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital,” says Paul, who is a retired Chartered Accountant and still does some work in his field. McGrath says his family has had their share of visits.
“In the spring of 2010, MaryBeth was on blood-thinners following a knee replacement and she required frequent blood work at the QEH throughout our stay on the Island,” concludes McGrath. “Also our daughter Carolyn required emergency medical care after an ATV accident. We appreciate the opportunity to express our gratitude to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.”