Being “Good Neighbours” to a Stroke Patient at St. Peter’s Hospital

“It’s just a headache. Nothing to worry about.”

That’s what went through 46-year-old Hiep Hoang’s mind in August 2015 as he was walking up the stairs of his Hamilton home. Then he suddenly lost his strength and collapsed. His 15-year-old son immediately called 911 and Hiep was rushed to Hamilton General Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery for a stroke.

Trang and Hiep Hoang

Trang and Hiep

After recovering at The General for a few days, Hiep was transferred to the Restorative Care Unit at St. Peter’s Hospital to begin an extended period of rehabilitation. The stroke left him with a loss of strength on the left side of his body and impaired speech.

“He can’t move his arm and sometimes it’s difficult to understand what he’s saying,” says Hiep’s wife, Trang, “but I see that he’s getting a little better every day.”

Hiep would undergo extensive physiotherapy to help him regain strength and functionality during his eight-month stay at St. Peter’s Hospital.

“Everyone at the hospital was very nice to us and helped Hiep get better. At first, he couldn’t get out of the wheelchair, but now he’s gaining better movement in his legs thanks to the physiotherapy.”
Trang Ngo 

Although Hiep’s two sons would visit him in the hospital every day, he was eager to return to the comfort of his own home. Through the Good Neighbour Fund, St. Peter’s Hospital Foundation supported the purchase of equipment that allowed Hiep to return home for his continuing recovery. Equipment purchased included an electric homecare bed with mattress, a commode and the installation of a handrail.

The Good Neighbour Fund supports the purchase of amenities to help patients. The Fund is supported by proceeds from the Jeans for a Means program, for which staff at St. Peter’s Hospital can pay $3 per day or $60 annually for the ability to dress casually every Friday.

When Hiep and Trang were told that the Foundation would be funding the equipment, they were surprised and thankful.

“He could not have come home any other way,” says Trang. “Before we received this gift, I was worrying every day about when he would be able to return home.”

When asked how he felt about the care he received at St. Peter’s Hospital and the support of the Good Neighbour Fund, his smile reaches from ear to ear.

“Thank you very much,” says Hiep. “I am very grateful.”