The need is critical

Join us in our most ambitious project to date. As part of the more than $33 million budget to build a new ICU for Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, we are raising a minimum of $5 million for all the new medical equipment. 

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital (NRGH) has been providing exemplary care to patients with severe, life-threatening illnesses and injuries in the current Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for 50 years. These patients are the sickest of the sick, requiring constant, close monitoring from a team of specialized medical staff. When you or your loved one needs this level of care, it is critical the ICU has the latest medical equipment in a well-designed space.

NRGH’s ICU is among the oldest in British Columbia, serving more than 400,000 residents north of the Malahat. It is an essential component of healthcare delivery across our entire hospital for patients and the staff who care for them. In 2013, an external review said despite the challenges in an outdated facility, NRGH’s ICU ranks near the top nationally for positive patient health outcomes. Expansion of the NRGH ICU will ensure it can meet the needs of the growing population and that the critical care team at NRGH will be able to continue to deliver excellent care – in a new, modern ICU.

Constructed between the Emergency Department and the Perinatal/Renal building, on the NRGH site, the new ICU will be three storeys. The main floor will be an undeveloped shell space allocated for a future High Acuity Unit. The ICU clinical space will be on the second floor and will include new patient rooms, private family consultation rooms, quiet staff work and meeting areas, increased storage and a welcoming visitor waiting area. The new ICU project is a partnership between the Provincial Government through Island Health, the Nanaimo Regional Hospital District and the Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation.

With the support of our community, we can achieve this goal!
Click on the photos below to hear from some of our ICU campaign ambassadors and grateful patients

Dr. Michael Kenyon

Lead Physician, ICU

I am very proud of the team I lead in the ICU at NRGH. Every day, they are overcoming the challenges to provide excellent patient care. Built 50 years ago and with only one third of full life-support beds per 100,000 residents compared to the national average, we are in desperate need of an upgrade. With a new ICU, our team will have the space, latest medical equipment and resources needed to meet the growing demand for critical care.

The Krog Family

Campaign Ambassadors

Twice Sharon has been a patient in our aging ICU at NRGH. The first time was when we returned from a holiday in January 2005 where a classic case of endocarditis was not diagnosed in Jamaica. She ended up in ICU with bilateral pneumonia and an infection in every organ including her bones. Doctor David Forrest and an amazing team saved her life and got her strong enough to be able to have, and survive, open-heart surgery at Royal Jubilee to replace her destroyed mitral valve.

The second time was a rare and difficult-to-diagnose case of steroid-resistant pneumonia that required life support for several days. We cannot begin to express our gratitude for the wonderful people who work in our ICU and save lives every day, as they did for Sharon, but do it in a worn out inadequate facility that desperately needs replacing. Our loved ones’ lives are at risk whenever something serious happens and many families like ours still have a wife, a mother and a grandmother only because of our ICU. Our story is not unique and mercifully has a happy ending. We ask everyone to dig deep and remember it can happen to anyone and sometimes even twice.

Kelly McColm

Manager, Intensive Care Unit and Respiratory Therapy

The new ICU will help our team provide excellent care in a state of the art design with focus on serving our community, families and patients’ needs. Increasing our number of beds will also help us support a higher level of care for patients needing critical care from the smaller rural communities on Vancouver Island.

Kevin Grieder

Grateful Patient

One family member going to hospital is stressful enough; imagine two in two days. That is what happened to a Nanaimo family in August 2016. A day after Kevin Grieder’s mother had a heart attack, he too found himself at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital (NRGH).

One morning, Kevin had difficulty breathing so went to see his family doctor. As the day progressed, he still did not feel better so went to Emergency at NRGH. After being seen and treated, he left but his breathing continued to get worse. He returned to Emergency and collapsed while in the waiting room.

Kevin woke up a few days later in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) hooked up to a ventilator and with a tube down his throat. The reason? He suffered a pulmonary embolism because of a blood clot in his leg that had traveled into his lungs. He was put into an induced coma to give his body a chance to recover and repair itself. While in the ICU, Kevin received constant, close monitoring from the team of specialized medical staff. After being treated and stabilized in the ICU, Kevin was transferred to a ward where heart and lung specialists could closely monitor him for approximately 5 days. He then spent his last few days on a general ward to gain more strength in preparation for his return home.

While in care, he noted he was able to observe the activity around the nursing station. “In addition to patient care, it was eye-opening to see to see all the paper work and other activities nurses have to do,” said Kevin. “Before staying in the hospital, I didn’t realize just how busy they are during their shifts.”

Kevin shared that from the time he arrived at NRGH to the day he was discharged, he received excellent care from all the hospital staff and singled out the ICU team in particular. “I was so grateful for the care I received that I went back to thank the ICU team as soon as I could,” said Kevin. “I also decided to make a donation to the Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation as a further way to recognize how well they looked after me in the ICU while I was so sick.”

Both Kevin, who was able to return to work at Country Grocer in Chase River, and his mother are doing well and are grateful for the level of care they received by the skilled and committed hospital staff. So much so that Kevin has become a regular, annual donor and was delighted to learn his recent donation would be put towards the new ICU at NRGH.

Watch the videos below to learn more about the urgent need to build a new ICU at NRGH.

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