Border-to-Border Teamwork Gets Patient Back on the Ice

Earlier this year, I shared a story about Jaime McDermott, the Leamington Flyer assistant coach who crossed the border for life-saving surgery for an ascending aortic aneurism at Henry Ford Hospital.

And I’m not just bringing up this story again because it’s an opportunity to talk about hockey while we await the return of our players to Hockeytown.

Mr. McDermott returned this week to Leamington District Memorial Hospital, to celebrate his incredible recovery and thank the staff there and the staff at Henry Ford Hospital – the two teams that worked together to ensure he would remain a vibrant husband, father, coach, and member of the Leamington community.

This story stands as great example of our relationship with the Canadian health care system. Henry Ford Hospital is ready to provide the best of care to the sickest of patients when alternatives cannot be provided from Canadian resources.

Following Mr. McDermott’s recovery, I sent a letter to Terry Shields, the acting-CEO of Leamington District Memorial Hospital.

In it, I wrote about what we often refer to as the “Miracles on the Boulevard.” These miracles are the product of many individuals, from first responders, to emergency personnel, to transporters, to customs agents, to the treating surgeons, physicians, and nurses.

The story behind the diagnosis, treatment, and eventual dramatic recovery is a tribute to all of these individuals, who, if there was delay or misstep in any part of the process, would not have created the opportunity for Mr. McDermott to be celebrated today.

Being a referral hospital, we have the opportunity to participate in the care of many patients with serious and potentially catastrophic illness.

Even so, Mr. McDermott’s story stands as an incredible example of teamwork, cooperation, skill, and love that brightens all of us who had the privilege of participating in the care.

I also should mention that I sent a short letter to Mr. McDermott too.

It read: “Now that you are back coaching, please find some guys to help the Red Wings!”

Be sure to watch the above video that shows Mr. McDermott’s visit this week to Leamington District Memorial Hospital. You also can read more about his return to the ice and his plans for the future in the Windsor Star.

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