FOCUS - OCTOBER 2018 25 Last month, Focus on Scugog published a “Letter to the Editor” from Dr. Matt Schurter in which he expressed the eager anticipation and dedication of our local physicians as the Lakeridge Health Port Perry hospital was about to be re-opened. Focus decided to spend time with Dr. Schurter and others who were involved in providing local health care while the facility was closed fol- lowing the disastrous fire of August 25, 2017. When the fire broke out that day, two mothers were in labour in the New Life Centre in the Port Perry Hospital. Nicole Witruk was placed in an ambulance and gave birth to a son, Bryce, while in the Port Perry Hospital parking lot. Nichole Davies was also placed in an ambulance. She was whisked off to Oshawa General. Immediately on arrival she gave birth to a son, Harris. All are extremely healthy and Bryce and Harris are now vigorous, active one-year-olds. They and their parents have an amazing story to pass on to their friends and family, all as a result of a fire in the Port Perry Hospital on a hot August day in 2017. One aspect of this story is the re- markable way in which health care was provided while the hospital was closed to undergo a complete refur- bishment and updating. As the fire was brought under control, it soon became obvious that the hospital was more seriously dam- aged than initially thought. From an immediate evaluation of the full extent of the damage, it was obvious that the entire facility would have to be completely shut down, including the Emergency Department. For a few area residents, there was a fear that Lakeridge Health might close the facility for good. Many readers may remember that a few years ago Lakeridge Health was indeed considering closing the Port Perry hospital, or at least severe- ly downgrading its status. As a result of the community’s support, that possibility was eventually removed. Dr. Schurter stated that one rea- son for that decision was that our hospital is highly regarded as an important teaching centre for the University of Toronto and is a main site for Family Practice studies. Some Some of those involved in administering our local health care. L-R: Steve Gray, Kelsie Jeffery, Leah Hockley, Judith Sanders, John Blackett. You’ve got a friend or in this case – lots of friends PHOTOS BY MARYANN FLEMING ...................... Please turn to page 26