Susan Larkin

Like so many East General supporters I grew up blocks away from the hospital – in fact I was born here. Little did I know all those years ago how vital a role this Hospital would have on my life, my family.

My name is Susan Larkin and I am one of the million faces of Toronto East General. Perhaps you too are one of the millions of people who have benefitted from one of the services provided here, or perhaps you live or work in the community, or maybe you have supported a family member who has come through our doors.

But more importantly, as a caregiver and patient, I know from personal experience how your kindness makes East General feel like home away from home, especially during the holidays. Your support ensures the Hospital continues to provide the quality of care and comfort that your community needs and deserves. 

 “Girl or boy, we just want a healthy baby.” I remember saying this over and over to friends and family. This was truly my only wish. When I became pregnant for the first time, my husband and I knew there was nowhere else we wanted to have our child. With more than 3,500 babies born at TEGH each year, the Maternal & Newborn unit is the best in the city. We knew we were in great hands.

As we prepared to ring in the New Year with friends and family, I unexpectedly went into labour three and a half weeks early. We rushed to East General and were immediately put at ease by the birthing nurse. Ben was born in just under two hours. In an incubator with a feeding tube to ensure he gained much-needed weight–the Special Care Nursery was our home for the first few nights of Ben’s life. Although I was terrified, I held on to my wish and it came true… Ben is a healthy, energetic boy and our extra special reason to ring in the New Year.

When I was pregnant with our second child, there was no question that East General would be my hospital again. Because Ben had arrived early and quickly, the medical staff wanted to ensure that I was prepared. Although I was scared, my doctor and the nurses worked closely to put me at ease.

Spencer arrived quickly (45 minutes!) and like Ben, early by four weeks. Déjà vu–the fears came rushing back as our newborn needed to stay in the Hospital to receive specialized care. But thankfully, just like Ben – after a few nights, the good news came, Spencer was strong enough to go home. We were grateful to the dedicated staff in the Maternal & Newborn unit and for the specialized donor funded equipment used to make our patient experience one that we will never forget.

My children and I are not the only ones who have called East General home… My father was treated at the Hospital for endocarditis in 1995. 

Multiple times, he was transferred downtown for surgery, but we were so thankful that he was transferred back to TEGH for further treatment and recovery. It was comforting to be closer to home and surrounded by familiar faces. Through the years, my father returned to the Hospital frequently for ongoing healthcare and each time, he was cared for by his kind physician, Dr. Leftkowicz and the wonderful nurses in the ICU, Cardiology, Neurology and Dialysis units.

Thanks to East General, we were able to share an extra 14 years with my father; creating new and everlasting memories–memories that we reflect on particularly at this time of year. More than anything, we are all so grateful that he had the opportunity to meet my two sons–his grandsons…for this I will always be thankful.

As a patient, a daughter, a mother–what strikes me the most is how incredibly caring the staff of Toronto East General is. It is thanks to you that our medical staff has the state of the art equipment they need to focus on providing personalized and compassionate care when we need it most.

I know how important it is to give back to the Hospital that has been and always will be here for my family and yours. This is why I am asking for your continued support, so that our community hospital is able to continue to set new standards throughout the Hospital–in Maternal & Newborn Care, in Dialysis, in Cardiology, in Neurology, in ICU…

As a family with young children and aging parents, knowing that clinically-sophisticated, compassionate care for the whole family is available right here in this community is very important to our quality of life and my peace of mind. I hope you agree.

Susan Larkin – a grateful patient




Contact Charlie Borg at or 416-469-6580 Ext. 6190 if you would like to share your grateful patient story.