Burnaby Hospital: A Second Home, A Second Family
Since 2013, Maria Carinha has dedicated over 2,300 hours supporting and advocating for Burnaby Hospital, a place where she holds many unforgettable memories. Her interest in giving back to her beloved community hospital is to support local healthcare heroes, many of whom treat her like family. Over three decades ago, when her mother grew ill and ultimately passed away at Burnaby Hospital, Maria remembered the compassion shown by all the staff, including a nurse who stayed by her side for two days.
Since then, Maria has shared endless laughter, experienced treasured lessons and shed tears within the hospital walls, but one thing remains the same over the years – the feeling of family shared with hospital staff and fellow volunteers.
Maria’s late husband, Carlos, who suffered from congestive heart failure, was admitted to the hospital in June 2022. Maria recalls Carlos receiving the highest quality care to make what was soon to be his end-of-life transition as comfortable as possible. The compassionate heart and tender touch of Care Aid and Porter, Elisa, is something Maria will never forget.
“We call Elisa our other daughter,” Maria shares. “Elisa would often check if his feet were cold and would bring him blankets, water and coffee, providing comfort and incredible compassion during this time,” Maria explains.
Elisa and Maria grew close as they walked the same hospital hallways and often shared life stories in passing. Elisa similarly views the hospital as a second home, and has been known to joyfully refer to Maria and Carlos as her mom and dad.
Maria recounts that when her husband was passing, he told her to go find his ‘other daughter’ in the hospital. This request was a great display of his appreciation for Elisa and her heart of gold, as Carlos would often describe.
Maria not only volunteers for Burnaby Hospital, but also gives back as a donor and fundraiser to support the advancement of healthcare in her community. Through a recent donation, she has nominated Elisa for a Burnaby Hospital Foundation Cheers to You award for her exceptional care provided to patients. Maria said it was an honour to see Elisa receive this respectable recognition and encourages people to support Burnaby Hospital in honour of their healthcare heroes.
The Cheers to You – Grateful Patient Program encourages donors to nominate hospital workers and volunteers for their exemplary work. When a patient makes a donation through this program, the staff member being honoured will be eligible to be recognized on the Cheers to You display wall and will receive a letter of recognition and a commemorative gift. To learn more and nominate someone special, please visit here.
Thank you Maria and Elisa for your ongoing care provided at Burnaby Hospital and congratulations Elisa for this nomination.