As one of their big moments of 2018, the Aberdeen Hospital, with the help of the Ladies Auxiliary, was able to open the brand new Minimally Invasive Surgical Suite. Looking around a room of pink coats during the dedication last week, there was just one person missing.
A former member of the auxiliary and the head of the project to get the surgical suite, Fran Harris, passed away before the suite was built. It was due to her great efforts to make the suite happen that led the suite being dedicated to her last week during a ceremony for the ladies auxiliary and the Aberdeen Health Foundation.
When first approached, the auxiliary was asked to raise $250,000 to get an MIS suite.
“Fran was just gung ho,” said Sharon Macdonald about how excited Harris was over the project. “She was tiny but she was mighty.”
Harris spearheaded fundraisers that would end up helping the auxiliary to raise all of the money requested in just two years, rather than the four years they were given. For the auxiliary, members saw it as a great opportunity to work with the Aberdeen Health Foundation which had also included some money to help make the suite happen.
“She’d be humbled, she’d be appreciative,” said Macdonald. “She never wanted a lot of notoriety.”
Harris’s son, Reaud Harris, was present at the dedication ceremony and was touched to see how his mother was honoured for her dedication and efforts.
With the new suite up and running, it allows patients to undergo surgery where only a small incision is made and telescoping cameras are used to help carry out the surgery instead of having to cut a larger area on the patient to reach the area. This procedure means a smaller wound or scar and shorter healing time.
“This is what she would have wanted,” said Harris about his mother. “She was very proud of her community and the hospital.”
Reaud Harris holds the plaque that will be placed at the Minimally Invasive Surgical Suite in honour of his mother, Fran Harris pictured in the background, who helped extensively with the fundraising efforts as an Aberdeen Hospital Auxillary member before she passed away. (Brimicombe photo)