Gord Gillies: Every day is a gift

770 CHQR radio host Gord Gillies. Kimberly Parsons / Global News

On my second day on the job at 770 CHQR, I was reminded of how fleeting life can be.

Nervous, anxious, terrified; I was relieved to have survived another show. It was a stressful time jammed full of those new job jitters.

As we began planning day three, I took a call from StayWell Manor, the seniors facility where my mom lives. She was having breathing problems because of all of the smoke we had last August.

I was told she was okay, but she’d been taken to the Rockyview General Hospital as a precaution.

After our morning meeting, I casually headed over to the hospital. I wandered in half expecting mom to be waiting in the lobby, ready for me to take her home.

LISTEN: Gord Gillies shares a recent experience that has reminded him every day is a gift

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I checked in and was immediately whisked to one of the ER rooms.

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People were scrambling around. It was noisy. A doctor came right up to me and said, “Is this your mom?”


“Do you know she has a non-resuscitate note in her medical file?”

“If your mom collapses again, are we to resuscitate her?”

I don’t remember what I said. I was stunned. My mom was on a gurney with an oxygen mask on her face, people all around her.

A nurse, I think, asked me if I’d like a moment on my own. She led me to a quiet room nearby filled with Kleenex boxes and a Bible. I had a cry, cleared my head, and came out terrified of what I’d find.

Mom was awake, stable, and in good hands. She spent a few days at the Rockyview recovering and I was able to bring her home.

My mom is living with early dementia and has no memory of that day in August. While her memory loss frustrates her sometimes, she remains as optimistic and positive about life as ever.

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To the LPN’s at StayWell Manor who suggested an ambulance; to the paramedics responding to another call at another seniors place who were ready for anything; to the ER team at the Rockyview who scrambled to save a life; to the nurse who put her hand on my shoulder to show she cared – Thank you.

From the bottom of my heart. Thank you for what you do every day.

On March 18, my mom turns 83 and we’ll get together and have another big birthday celebration.

It’s going to be really special.


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