A history of giving from the heart

Meet Ann O’Leary: Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) volunteer, former patient and donor.
Ann O’Leary
Ann O'Leary

Ann is no stranger to hospitals, having first trained as a nurse in England at the age of 17. So it was only natural that Ann – retired from nursing and living in the Beach with her husband – began volunteering at MGH in the early 1990s to support her community.

Ann spent her first 25 years volunteering in our Stavro Emergency Department, doing everything from stocking supplies to supporting patients and families in their moments of need. She has since volunteered at our information desk and as a ‘baby cuddler’ in our Special Care Nursery. During the pandemic, she has helped assemble COVID-19 take-home testing kits along with fellow volunteer Helen McBrien, one of the many good friends she’s made through volunteering.

Ann also knows what it means to be an MGH patient, having received hip replacement surgery in March 2020. “The results were excellent. I was mobile from the minute I got home the next day,” she says, adding that she enjoys staying active by walking over a mile at a time.

An illustration of community support

Ann’s experiences as an MGH community member and patient, as well as the hospital’s ongoing physical transformation and its robust response to the pandemic, are all reasons she also chooses to give back as a donor.

She has donated toward a glass orb as part of an eye-catching From the Heart art installation, which will be prominently featured near the main lobby of the Ken and Marilyn Thomson Patient Care Centre, opening next winter. “The orbs are a lovely way to illustrate the support the hospital has received from the community,” says Ann.

Orbs will be engraved with text of donors’ choosing, making them a great way to show your support, honour someone special or share a kind message. Individual donors, or even groups of donors, can participate in our From the Heart initiative with a gift of $5,000 over as many as five years.

There’s still time to join Ann in getting an orb that declares your own commitment to the Heart of The East. But hurry – quantities are limited! Learn more at mghf.ca/FromTheHeart