When Bill Donaldson says he almost died three times, it’s a tribute to the positive experiences he’s had with health care in the past decade.

It all started when Bill was 65 and had a fall while carrying a Christmas dinner casserole. Breaking his ankle and getting surgery at Surrey Memorial Hospital turned out to be his lucky day because Bill had two heart attacks at the hospital with nurses at his side who reacted immediately. An angiogram showed Bill needed quadruple by-pass surgery.

But even after the operation, his nurse spotted signs of serious trouble and the cardiac team rushed to his aid again. His kidneys had shut down and things looked grim. But, miraculously, the next day all went back to normal.

Bill continued to be monitored under the care of Surrey cardiologist, Dr. Salima Shariff. Then, a year later while waiting at a class, his heart stopped. Three nurses who happened to be there started CPR right away. Bill was rushed to another hospital where his insulin was through the roof, his kidneys had shut down and he wasn’t expected to pull through. But Bill defied the odds again. After ten days in the hospital, his heart and kidneys came back.

It’s no wonder that Bill doesn’t take our health care system for granted, believing we’re fortunate to have access to high calibre care at next to no cost other than what we pay in taxes. Having spent seven weeks at Surrey Memorial, he feels that all the staff were great, from the ER to all the wards he spent time in. “They worked hard and were so considerate of me,” he says.

Today he donates monthly to four hospitals that made his life possible, including Surrey Memorial. It’s his way of showing his gratitude. With his pace maker and implanted defibrillator, Bill is glad to enjoy his time with his four children and granddaughter, as well as travelling with his wife Dale.

You too can start making monthly donations to honour the care you received at Surrey Memorial Hospital or Jim Pattison Outpatient Centre and know with certainty to you are helping to advance health care in our region.