When Aristotle Domingo was admitted to SHN’s Centenary hospital in 2001, he didn’t know that it would become his second home – family included.
Upon finding him unresponsive in their Malvern home, Aristotle was rushed to Centenary where he slipped into a coma and was put on life support. This began a year-long journey to recovery, with Aristotle spending his time with the wonderful nurses, doctors, and staff.
“We became part of the SHN family – or maybe vice versa – during my stay at the hospital,” Aristotle recalls. “They babied me for three months in the ICU like I was one of their own, and allowed me to see my family as much as we could.”
Aristotle became a familiar fixture at the hospital, and the nurses came to know all of his friends, family, and loved ones when they came to visit. “The nurses knew my sisters, my family, and my friends,” Aristotle tells us. “My family were so grateful, they would bring food and treats not only for me but for the staff as well!”
Aristotle spent holidays at Centenary while he recovered – Thanksgiving, Christmas, and birthdays – but he never truly felt like he was alone. “The staff really were like family. We developed meaningful relationships, and they were invested in my care and recovery.”
Because of his exceptional care, Aristotle decided to give back during the COVID-19 pandemic by participating in the Isolation Run with funds benefitting SHN. “We gain so much from our frontline staff who are often overlooked, and to me it’s just my way of giving back.”
“SHN set the expectations very high for health care in Toronto,” Aristotle continues. “They always wanted me to do well, and the way they cared for me is the way I would want to care for others."
After undergoing amputation of his left and right legs below the knee in 2017 and 2019, respectively, Aristotle began running to stay active and practice gratitude for what his body was still capable of. He is also a motivational speaker and the founder of Amputee Coalition of Toronto.
“As a patient support peer visitor for new amputees, I realize now that SHN instilled a sense of patient-centred care in me when I was a patient. SHN showed that I was more than just their patient – I was one of their people, and they went above and beyond the call of duty for me.
I got to where I am because of the sacrifices of others – my family, the dedicated health care workers, my nurses – and the amount of themselves they put into my recovery and well-being is truly mind-blowing. That’s why I give – to recognize the sacrifices of others.”
Aristotle still recognizes friendly faces when he steps foot into Centenary hospital. “I can’t help but get emotional whenever I step into the hospital,” Aristotle says. “They still greet me like family, and to this day I’m so grateful for the great care I received.”
Aristotle is still fundraising for SHN, and you can support him and the exceptional SHN staff by clicking here.
You can read more about Aristotle’s story on his website and watch the video feature below about the Isolation Run and why he chose to give back to SHN.