John Cuthbertson: A passing in Foothills’ Unit 36

Life changed forever for John Cuthbertson when he took his wife Dawn into the Foothills hospital emergency room one cold, November day.

She would never leave the hospital and would face death in the Foothills’ Unit 36, a special unit where only the very sick are treated.

“I had no idea what my family would experience over the next while,” recalls John.

John was convinced by his wife’s physician to leave Dawn in Unit 36. That decision set the tone for everything that followed.

When it was time to say goodbye, after Dawn had spent weeks in a coma, the nurse approached John’s daughters.

“The nurse asked them to go and get a favourite night gown of my wife and some of her perfume,” he recalls.

“When we returned to Dawn’s room, she’d been disconnected from all her pumps and monitors.

“The nurse had bathed her and got her into a nice night gown, brushed her hair and dabbed on some perfume. She looked more like herself again.”