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Hospital Foundation honours three-peat support

Irena Barker is back for a three-peat performance in support of Prince Edward County’s hospital.

The 86-year-old Belleville resident once again showed her commitment to health care in the County by donating more than $34,000 to the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation to purchase equipment that is part of this year’s Picture of Health Campaign.

This year, Irena chose two items from the hospital’s equipment list – a gastroscope at a cost of $22,263 that will be used in the endoscopy department, and a defibrillator at a cost of $11,265 for use on the inpatient unit. Picton’s Royal Canadian Legion Poppy Fund Committee recently presented a $3,000 gift that designated for the defibrillator, so Irena graciously topped up that contribution so the lifesaving tool could be purchased for other heart patients, like her.

In 2004, while living in Pickering, a routine ultrasound led Irena to a diagnosis of an enlarged heart working at 10 per cent. This gave her a healthy respect for hospitals. No stranger to them, in 1938 at eight-years-old, she was diagnosed with osteomyelitis (inflammation of bone or bone marrow) and spent a year in the hospital. Irena also spent time as an inpatient at PECMH about three years ago.

“I have really zeroed in on helping this hospital,” she said. “Sooner or later someone close to us, or someone we know, is going to end up at the hospital. I find that helping to ensure the medical staff has access to the best possible equipment is important and benefits everyone in the community.”

Irena, who describes herself as fiercely determined, saw that this donation brought her within $1,300 of moving up to the Founder Level on the Foundation’s donor recognition wall for cumulative donations that total $50K to $100K. With this in mind, she enthusiastically rounded her contribution up so she could see her name move to this level.

“It makes me feel so good that I have helped other people,” she said. “I just wish I could get to others and ask them to give…so they can experience the same joy I do when I donate.”

The Picture of Health Campaign focuses on securing medical equipment for most of the departments at Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital at a cost of $250,000.

Irena Barker at home in Belleville handing over a hefty cheque for the PECMH Foundation for the Picture of Health campaign.
Briar Boyce photo

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