One patient’s incredible story of stroke recovery

Faith Holding sitting across from her husband David, holding hands.

Faith Holding with her husband David.

Faith Holding arrived at Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital after having a life-threatening stroke. Recovery was a team effort.

All Faith recalls about attending a wedding in Haliburton, Ontario, last spring was the outfit she put on that morning. The rest of the day is a blank. Yet her husband David will always remember June 18, 2022, as the day Faith almost died from an ischemic stroke.

When Faith collapsed at the reception, she was rushed to Haliburton Highlands Health Services before being airlifted to Kingston Health Sciences Centre, where she spent over a month in the ICU. She was eventually moved to the stroke unit at Sunnybrook Hospital for several weeks before being transferred to Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital on Labour Day.

David says when Faith arrived at Hennick Bridgepoint, she had lost a lot of strength from having been hospitalized in bed for so long. She had issues with dizziness and nausea, suffered frequent migraines and had to relearn how to walk.

Despite Faith’s considerable health challenges, David says he felt a sense of relief when they got to Hennick Bridgepoint. “Right away, I just knew we were in a system that was well organized. We noticed that everyone – the clinicians, nurses, therapists, dietician and social worker – was constantly up to date on how Faith was doing each week. The communication was seamless.”

For the first time since the event, David began to feel hopeful about the future. “It was truly the beginning of what the potential for Faith’s recovery could be.”

Hennick Bridgepoint takes an inclusive, patient-centred approach to care, and David, who was there every day, was integrally involved in the treatment plan. “I learned that when the family is part of the care journey, that can have a significant impact on the effectiveness and speed of recovery.”

For her part, Faith understood she too was part of the solution. “I remember everybody was so encouraging. I really felt that I was part of a team and that we were all on this recovery track together.”

Today, Faith continues her recovery, making more progress in the outpatient rehabilitation program. What’s more, she wants to give back to the hospital and has added volunteering at Hennick Bridgepoint as a future goal. Her therapists have even built this into her recovery plan.

Of her five months as an inpatient, Faith says she’ll always remember the kindness of the staff. “They were always rooting for me and treated me like I could succeed and get well. That made a big difference in my recovery.”

Faith Holding sitting on her walker in a hallway at Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital.

Celebrating 10 years of Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital

There are many reasons why Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital deserves to be celebrated on the 10th anniversary of the opening of the new purpose-built hospital. Start with it being the single largest organization in Canada to focus exclusively on research, care and teaching for people with complex health conditions.

2013, 2016 and 2019
Hennick Bridgepoint receives Stroke Distinction award for excellence and innovation in stroke care.

The hospital, then known as Bridgepoint Active Healthcare, amalgamated with Mount Sinai Hospital to form Sinai Health, which also includes the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute and system partner, Circle of Care.

Hennick Bridgepoint is the first hospital in Canada to win the Governor General’s Medal in Architecture.

Bridgepoint Active Healthcare is renamed Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital in recognition of a transformational $36-million gift from Jay and Barbara Hennick, long-time leaders and supporters of Sinai Health.

The Hennick family pictured in front of Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital.

Photography by Francisco Garcia and Doug Nicholson