Good Things Happening at the Stroke Clinic

Press release

It’s been a long time since the “human Factor” has been celebrated at the Stroke Prevention Clinic, Fort Frances. “Covid safety measures meant we were no longer meeting stroke survivors and their families face to face,” explained Marilyn Erwin, stroke nurse here for the last 14 years. “Our only contact was through telephone and by sending information packages in the mail. At best it became more of a factual exchange of medical content. So much more happens when a patient and nurse actually meet”. Erwin has handed the clinic over to Natalie Veldhuisen R.N. on her retirement, Monday 13th December.  Both nurses agree, every stroke survivor brings with them their unique experiences. Their hopes, goals as well as struggles and grief. It’s serious stuff, the road ahead is hard work. In order to be an effective team member right from the ‘get go” Veldhuisen met with long time ‘stroke volunteer’, Melvin Jourdain.Together they exchanged stories of what the clinic has achieved to date, and where Veldhuisen would like to take it. “Watching the two of them drawing energy from each other as they talk is thrilling,” enthused Erwin, “Natalie is the perfect fit for where the clinic has to go next.” Veldhuisen is keen to involve stroke survivors who have never had the benefit of the two programs aimed at helping people find their place back in their communities. Also, she invites those who have experienced a stroke during the covid restrictions to contact her by telephone or e.mail so she can introduce them to the  ‘Friends Living with stroke’ support group here in town. Now the clinic is able to have patients physically visit, complying with covid measures, Veldhuisen expects the Friends group to start up again in January. Veldhuisen also has plans to be part of the six week course “Living with Stroke” most likely late spring of next year. To leave a message with the stroke clinic call 274 3261 ext 4542 or e.mail n.veldhuisen@rhcf.on.ca

Natalie Veldhuisen, RN, left, has taken the helm of the Stroke Prevention Clinic in Fort Frances. She has benefitted from the years of wisdom and experience of retired nurse Marilyn Erwin and long-time volunteer Melvin Jourdain. – Submitted photo