Eric and Mathieu

Embracing Compassion

April 4, 2024

4 April, 2024



| By: Par:

Sneha Tailor

The mission to "save lives, restore health, create capacity, and preserve dignity" isn't just a statement for Ornge; it's a commitment that is upheld in every single mission. Ornge helps provide dignified end-of-life care as well as transporting patients back to their rural and remote communities to be with family and friends at the end of their lives. Today we are sharing Eric’s story, a man diagnosed with end-stage Pulmonary Fibrosis, and his family's experience with Ornge.


In early December of 2023, Eric was diagnosed with end-stage Pulmonary Fibrosis, a condition characterized by the formation of scar tissue in the lungs, leading to breathing difficulties. Eric’s only hope for survival was a double lung transplant. He had visited Toronto General Hospital to complete all the required assessments for eligibility. Sadly, he was unable to undergo the transplant procedure due to other health complications. He was given the difficult news that he only had three months to live and that he was going into Palliative Care.
The trip to Toronto from Ottawa was out of the question for his parents, given their frail condition. Eric feared passing away far from his loved ones including his wife and son. It was determined that Eric should be transferred from Toronto General Hospital to Palliative Care in Ottawa.
Ornge was requested to perform the transport, as Eric required paramedics who could provide a high level of care due to his condition. Despite logistical challenges and a wait for the right aircraft to become available, on January 27, the news came that Ornge was on the way. 

During this trying time, Ornge paramedics, Michel and Mathieu from the Timmins base, offered their support. Eric’s sister, Cindy, tells us “the time we spent with them, they felt like brothers to us. They kept telling us not to lose hope.” An ambulance arrived at the hospital at 8:30 p.m. and they were en route to Pearson Airport.

“Michel & Mathieu are both excellent examples of the compassion & dedication that we will forever associate with our brother’s journey with Ornge.” – Cindy

Eric and Mathieu

The family expressed profound gratitude to Michel and Mathieu for being Eric's companions on his final journey. Unfortunately, Eric passed away soon after arriving in Palliative Care. We are deeply saddened that none of his family was able to be by his side as he passed away. The family reassured us that the Eric’s trip was not in vain and that he got his wish to go home.
As we reflect on Eric's journey, we are reminded that Ornge's mission goes beyond transporting patients. It’s about preserving dignity in the face of adversity.

Have you or a loved one been transported by Ornge? Sharing your story helps raise awareness about safety and offers other patients some insight into experiences they may be facing. Share your story today!


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