A letter to the CEO of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Here is a letter I wrote to recognize an outstanding nurse of Tracy’s:

Dr. Barry McLellan President and CEO
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue, Suite D-375 

Toronto, ON  M4N 3M5


Dear Dr. McLellan,

I am writing this letter on behalf of my sister Tracy Kyne, and my family including: Joan and Mack Dort (Tracy’s parents), Lynn and Darren Pang (sister and brother-n-law), and myself and my husband Robert Lendvai (sister and brother-n-law).

While cycling alone near Blue Mountain on Scenic Caves Road, Tracy crashed her bike and sustained a devastating and catastrophic injury severing her spinal cord. She had been training for “The Centurion” bike race in Collingwood, and was airlifted to Sunnybrook on Sunday September 4th, 2011.

Dr. da Costa operated to stabilize her neck on Monday September 5th, but the devastating news of her “complete” spinal cord injury – quadriplegic- was overwhelming for us. As you can imagine we were all affected by this tragedy with intense emotion, pain and loss – of the life she had. She is an active single mother of three young boys, and so we also rallied to care for them at the same time.

She has spent the past three weeks in the CCU, where she has been cared for by many of your CCU staff. We’ve encountered people along the way whose passion for their work in healthcare varies considerably. Some who are excellent professionals deserving of praise and others who seem to be there just earning a pay check. I’d be happy to share further details if you are interested.

The purpose of this letter is not to criticize or complain, but rather to compliment someone extraordinary. There is one person in particular who has shown incredible compassion and gone above and beyond her call of duty – Nurse: Katie Weaver. She is superior, and has answered her calling.

We have been camped out – in shifts – by Tracy’s side all the days of her stay. She’s had some ups and some downs. We learned quickly who we could count on. We knew that that if Katie was Tracy’s nurse, we could count on her to take the best care of Tracy possible. Katie would take the time to explain things to us in terms that we understood. She spoke to Tracy as a person, a friend and a peer. She never spoke down to her or tried to undermine or dismiss her needs. She is a consummate professional. She exemplifies the Sunnybrook values – excellence, collaboration, accountability, respect and engagement.

She cared for Tracy “when it mattered most”.

Thanks to Katie’s positive attitude and motivating spirit, Tracy is now in B5 and progressing much more quickly than anyone expected. We firmly believe that Tracy’s progress in the recent days should be credited to Katie.

Just a few examples of Katie’s exceptional caring, last week she managed to find a chair that would allow Tracy to go outside and breathe the fresh air-  even if it was brief, she was the first one to wash Tracy’s hair, she’s taken her precious break time to sit with us (Tracy’s family), to console and counsel us, and the list goes on  – all the while overachieving as a medical professional.

We have many more days ahead at Sunnybrook followed by Lyndhurst, and we want to be sure along the way that we recognize those individuals who deserve accolades for not just “showing up”, but rather going the extra mile.  Katie Weaver is one of those people!


Lesley Dort-Lendvai