While we may be very fortunate and might even sail through life with scarcely a glitch, everyday reality holds that all of us at some time need the services of our health-care providers.

That was the case with Meghan and Jason Andrew who were briefly blindsided when their 11-year-old son, Max was diagnosed with Type One diabetes three months ago. An active and energetic child had been hit with a disease that was going to demand a radical lifestyle change for both him and the rest of the family.

Yet, how do they feel about this? Very positive, says Dad Jason. And a good part of that feeling arises from the level-of-care they received from the ‘team’ at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

“Right from the beginning we received excellent care with Max,” Jason says. “From from the nurses in emergency, to the doctors, dieticians, and it really went smooth as silk.”

Meghan cannot help but concur with Jason’s assessment of what they as a family got from the St. Joe’s ‘team’.

For them it all began one evening when Max and Jason were “horseplaying”, Meghan says. “We noticed that Max had gotten really pale, he complained he didn’t feel well and had stomach cramps. He just looked unwell.”

When he began vomiting they rushed him to emergency. While he was in there the nurses picked up that he was going to the bathroom frequently. Shortly thereafter blood and urine tests confirmed the diagnosis of Type One diabetes.

After five days in hospital, Max was stabilized and the ongoing education process for the young patient and his family began. That, of course, is a process that is continuing and will continue throughout the course of Max’s life.

“Everyone was so good,” Jason says. “At times you felt like you were intruding; maybe bothering them with your questions, since we are only one family of many. But, we never got a hint of that. The diabetes team made us feel like the most important family they were seeing, and we’ve no doubt they are sincere about that.”

Max’s new reality sank in quickly, his parents attest. Max learned to inject himself with insulin quickly and readily accepted the diet regimen that must be part of his new life.

And it was in getting Max primed to deal with the diabetes that Meghan says the team really showed its prowess.

“Susan Vandervaate provided exceptional care in Emergency and Angus Davies in Pediatrics, looked after Max for four days, providing a comfort and trust level that we appreciated so much.”

There was a chance that Max might have been transported to Nanaimo General but Dr. Matous intervened and made certain that Max could safely stay at St. Joseph’s until the arrival of Pediatrician Dr. Slater.

“Diane Armstrong, the diabetes nurse, pushed her own holiday back to help Max those first few days and has followed up with him at his school and over the phone,” Meghan says. “Diane and our entire team is absolutely incredible.”

“Max was back playing hockey with his buddies and is excited to be on the Pee-Wee Rep B team this year,” she continues. “Thanks to the level-of-care they received from St. Joseph’s Hospital Max has a positive outlook and continues to be happy and stay healthy.”

“We made a donation to the Foundation not just to say thanks for the wonderful care Max received, but to do our small part in ensuring other families would also have access to the medical care that made such a large difference in our lives”.