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The thought of a medical emergency was the furthest thing from Mike Melnik's mind.

It was a few days before Christmas and the former 980 KRUZ radio host and local business owner was focused on the shopping he still had to do. 

Then Mike slipped on some mud while out walking his dog. He landed on his left side and heard a sharp crack. He says, “I knew something bad had just happened.

In excruciating pain, Mike made the decision to come to us here at Peterborough Regional Health Centre’s Emergency Department. As I understand it, it’s a very good thing he did. X-rays revealed he had three broken ribs and a partially collapsed lung. Mike needed urgent care and treatment and found it at PRHC.

The experience reminded me how fast life can change. In less than five seconds I was on the ground and all I could think about was how much pain I was in.”

My name is Dr. Alex Weiler. As an emergency physician at PRHC, I know my patients are never really ready for a medical emergency like the one that brought Mike through our doors. We’re all too busy living our lives, making plans with our friends and family. That’s how it should be – especially at this special time of year.

And yet, the Emergency Department at PRHC is ready for the thousands of patients who turn to us each year, including those who will need our help this holiday season.  That’s because of you! But technology is always improving and equipment eventually wears out. Today, we need your help to keep our Emergency Department at its best.

As you can imagine, our Emergency Department is a busy place. Last year, we saw more than 87,000 patients here, many in dire need of lifesaving care.

And the pace doesn’t slow during the holidays. In fact, it speeds up. Our ED is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Every person who comes through our doors deserves access to the latest equipment to quickly diagnose their illness or injury.

Mike Melnik agrees. “When you’re in an emergency situation, you want your doctors to have the equipment they need to do their job and get to the root of the problem. You want to feel better as quickly as possible.” 

That’s what we want for our patients, too. So today, I hope you’ll help us purchase and upgrade equipment for our Emergency Department which is vital to the lifesaving care we provide to your family, friends and neighbours. 

For example, a CT scan is one of the most common diagnostic tests my colleagues and I order. Together, we request between 25 and 30 CT scans every day. With so many people counting on us, we need your support to upgrade our existing CT Scanners to provide significantly improved picture quality and improve diagnosis.

Your gift this season will also help fund new equipment like Vein Finders, reducing patient discomfort and saving precious time. It will also help us upgrade our dedicated X-ray Trauma Suites, ensuring physicians can identify the most critically ill and injured people in the ED quickly and accurately.

Thanks to you, our Emergency Department had the equipment we needed to diagnose Mike’s injuries. He spent the holidays in our hospital where he was closely monitored.  

I’m glad we were ready for Mike when he needed us. And today, I hope you’ll send the most generous gift you can in support of crucial equipment for the ED. 

Together, we can give more patients the chance to echo Mike’s words this holiday season: “I’m forever grateful to donors who helped ensure I received the care I needed in my community.

With best wishes for a safe and healthy holiday,

Dr. Alex Weiler
Emergency Department Physician
Peterborough Regional Health Centre