Kaitlyn’s Story

March 2024

We would like you to meet Kaitlyn, who is a volunteer Personal Care Assistant (PCA) at the Hospice Windsor Residence.

Some things you should know about Kaitlyn:

  • Kaitlyn is a full-time student at the University of Windsor, working towards her Master in Biochemistry.
  • She loves research, and is currently engaged in a research project in Mass Spectrometry in the Protein Laboratory. The study is researching MTMR2 protein which, when mutated, causes CMT diseases, neuromusculoskeletal diseases similar to MS.
  • Once she completes her Masters, she plans to apply to Medical School either at the University of Windsor or Wayne State
  • Kaitlyn views herself as a Windsorite, born and raised, and loves living in this area

Kaitlyn is no doubt an impressive person… but what brought her to volunteer at Hospice? 

Kaitlyn’s first experience with hospice care was three years ago, when her grandmother was admitted to hospice care in London. “My grandmother was my best friend, so I was devastated that her health had deteriorated so much. But, I was amazed to see Hospice care for the first time, and the level of comfort and compassion that they offered to my Grandma and our family.”

When she started looking into volunteer opportunities, Kaitlyn’s mom, who is a palliative care counsellor, suggested she look into what was available at our Hospice.

“I love coming here, it never feels like a job, or work. After my very first shift at Hospice, my whole life perspective was changed, along with my professional goals,” says Kaitlyn. “I love research, I’ve been engaged in research studies for three years, but my goals have evolved since coming to Hospice. I intend to become a physician. After shadowing a family physician and then doing work in palliative care, this has become my passion. My dream is to be a Hospice of Windsor and Essex County physician.”

At first, Kaitlyn was taking one PCA Volunteer shift a week, but now she admits that she takes as many as she can. “Sometimes I’m here two to three times a week. My life is pretty high stress, with full-time school and a couple of part-time jobs, but I feel like when I walk through the doors of Hospice I can just take a breath and immerse myself in the pace of this place. It’s one of calm and peace, and everyone is just working to make sure each day is the best it can be for the patients and their families.”

Kaitlyn describes the real joy she experiences in being able to spend quality time with both the patients and their loved ones. “It’s not like the frenetic pace of a hospital. I often will have an opportunity to just spend some quiet time talking to them. She has also brought her special talents into the Residence. “I was so happy to be able to come in and play the violin for the residents. I even had a special request for Danny Boy from a family member!”

“I’ve always had so much respect for healthcare professionals, I have nurses and PSWs in my family, but coming to Hospice has provided me with such an eye-opening perspective,” says Kaitlyn. “This is truly care and compassion taken to another level. To see the passion each of the doctors, nurses, RPNs, PSWs, staff and volunteers bring to their roles, it’s inspirational. No matter the role, everyone puts the patient first. I have personally seen our Housekeeper, Debbie, literally put down her cleaning to sit next to a patient and talk to them.”

Kaitlyn’s own care and compassion were clearly visible as she choked up a little while relating her experiences with the patients and family members who have touched her.

Kaitlyn, you are exactly the person, the dedication, and the heart we need in our Hospice, and we look forward to the day when Dr. Kaitlyn walks through those front doors!