|Back to Home||Feature Article - January 7, 2010|
Sydenham Vet Clinic receives a generous giftBy Julie Druker
A recent gift given to the Sydenham Veterinary Services clinic in memory of Barbara Gemmell just made animals’ surgeries there more expedient.
On December 28, Kelli McRobert and her father Barry Gemmell presented the clinic with a $3500 cash gift in memory of Barbara Gemmell, Barry’s wife and Kelli's mother, who passed away at KGH at the age of 75 on September 29, 2009 after complications from a broken hip and after a five-year battle with breast cancer.
The funds were used to help purchase a new surgical table equipped with a battery-powered elevation system that allows operating vets to maneuver the table themselves using foot pedals, thereby eliminating the hitherto frequent interruptions during surgeries.
The new table was delivered to SVS just before Christmas and has been in use ever since.
Barbara Gemmell, who was born in Windsor and later moved to Kingston to be closer to the Cancer Center at KGH, was a passionate animal lover and loved helping others. In fact it was her cat Tuck, who was adopted by Kelli after Barbara’s passing, who instigated the memorial gift to the Sydenham Vet clinic.
Kelli has been a long-time client at SVS and brought Tuck there when he began suffering from a life-threatening urinary tract obstruction
Dr. Jack Chubaty performed a laser surgery on Tuck called a urethrostomy, which totally cured the problem.
Kelli said, “ After the successful surgery my Dad and I had this kind of epiphany and realized that a gift to SVS in memory of Mom would be the perfect thing to do. I asked Dr. Chubaty to give me a wish list and we decided to make a gift towards the purchase of the new surgical table.”
Their gift also included a Sony flat screen digital picture frame, which Kelli loaded with family and pet photos and which clients at SVS will be free to use as well.
Dr. Jack Chubaty is one of the owners of SVS, and he was both thrilled and taken aback by the generous gift. “It was a real surprise and we are very honoured and grateful,” he said.
Chubaty plans to have a plaque made honoring the memorial gift, which will be put on permanent display at SVS.
Kelli knows that her Mom would approve of the gift. “She was a very caring person who loved animals and who made a point of helping others whenever she could. We feel that this gift which will 'keep on giving' is a great way to honour her.”