Hospital News salutes Nursing Heroes

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HONOURABLE MENTION: ANGELA SMITHN RN, BHScN, CPMHN(C), Nurse Therapist, Trillium Health Partners

I would like to nominate Angela Smith, RN, BHScN, CPMHN(C), Nurse Therapist for the Nursing Hero Award.

I am a patient at the Addictions & Concurrent Disorders Centre at Trillium Health Partners, Credit Valley Hospital site for the past 3.5 years.  This is where I first met Angela Smith.

A few words about myself, I am male, 59 years old, married 35 years.  I have 2 sons and 1 daughter.  My middle son passed away 3 years ago of cancer.

My disease is addiction.  After my son passed away I started drinking quite heavily and hit rock bottom.  It was so bad that I would black out, fall and could not remember anything.  I was out of control, felt helpless and was desperate.  I suffered and my family suffered because of me.

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This is when I met Angela Smith for the first time.  She is a therapist who helps people with the disease of addiction in a compassionate and non-judgmental way.  She saved my life!  She has a way of making everyone feel comfortable and special.  Addiction affects everyone in the family and she helped us understand.  Angie gives 110% of herself and is very mindful and attentive to other people’s needs.

Angie is very empathetic and a caring person with a very big heart.  She is a very good listener who lets you talk and vent if you need to, she is the kind of person that you can talk to.  When you speak to Angie her expertise steps forward, she will explain why I am feeling this way and how to work out my problems without using substances.  It is not just problems you can speak to her about but also everyday life experiences that come up that you may have a problem to resolve without judging my feelings.

Angie is a wonderful advocator; if a patient needs letters or help with legal documentations for work, she will help you and fight for your rights.  It is difficult when you have an addiction and have no control of your life.  Angie has helped me get control of my life and made me dig deep into my feelings of why I had my addiction, besides the passing of my son.  I am now clean and sober for 3 years 5 months with Angie’s help and guidance.  She is very dedicated and compassionate in helping patients at the Addictions & Concurrent Disorders Centre.  I still see her at least once a week for guidance and counseling.  Angie has a way of restoring faith, self dignity and respect in everyone she sees.  And because of her work, I am a better husband, father, and a friend.  She inspired me to be the agent of hope to others who suffer with addiction and now I am a volunteer at The Addictions and Concurrent Disorders Centre because this work cannot be done alone.

Nominated by Carmen Prezio