Write the cheque

• March 6, 2013 • Comments (0)

After I got my voice back, I was in with Marta, one of the clinic’s two speech pathologists,  doing a recording of my voice in the voice clinic’s sound studio.  We were comparing recordings of me before my surgery – with a voice problem – and  then post-surgery, without one.  The software crashed after we’d done about an hour of work.  Marta explained that it was really old software, and that the clinic did not have the funds to update it.   I asked how much it would be to replace it, thinking she’d say a million bucks, which is what I think everything costs in a hospital these days.   “Oh, over $10,000 US – we’d never get the funds for that”, she said.   So I went home and wrote a cheque for $15,000, and the hospital got their voice software, which is in use in the clinic today.   Over a period of years, I bought the clinic its state-of-the-art videostoboscopy unit, which is the principal diagnostic tool used in the clinic.   Such a unit costs about $90,000 fully loaded.   Asking a voice specialist to function without one is is like expecting a great carpenter to be effective without a hammer.

I realize that not everyone can write a cheque to charity for $10k or more.   The point is, if you can, do it.  Find something you are passionate about, and help somebody who is world class in that field get even better.  It amazes me that life-saving and life-changing operations cannot be performed in Canada, for want of equipment that costs less than $100,000.   I come from the US, where the only donations that ever get written about are $1 million+.  In Canada’s underfunded public healthcare system, relatively modest donations can have a life-changing impact.


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Category: Canadian health care system, Voice problem

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