Story written by Uxbridge Hospital Foundation.

Uxbridge grandmother and former nurse grateful to community for exceptional care in her moment of need

As a practicing nurse and educator for more than 35 years, Sheerie Fox knows exactly what it takes to care for patients. But after a serious bout of illness put her life in jeopardy and left her in need of lifesaving care, it was Sheerie’s turn to rely on the expertise, compassion, and support she had long worked to instill in others—this time at her local Uxbridge Hospital.

“Caring for patients was one of the things I loved most about being a nurse,” shares Sheerie. “Having been in the profession for so long, it was a humbling experience being on the receiving end of this care for once. When my life was in danger, the incredible team at Uxbridge Hospital treated me with compassion and kindness, and made me proud to be a nurse.”

After a career that took her across Canada and beyond, including to Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, and even New York City, Sheerie moved to Uxbridge in 2010 to be close to her grandchildren. She has since fallen in love with the natural beauty and small-town feel that Uxbridge is known for, as well as the tight-knit community that welcomed her with open arms.

“First and foremost, it’s the people that truly make Uxbridge special. Our town is filled with a vibrant mix of individuals and families from all ages, backgrounds, and stages of life, and, together, we have created an amazing place to live and set down roots. From my own experience, it’s clear that this strong and unique sense of community has even made its way into the hallways of the hospital itself.”

In November 2022, Sheerie was rushed to the Uxbridge Hospital Emergency Department after a severe case of pneumonia had quickly decompensated into sepsis. With the condition posing significant complications for her health and an undeniable risk to her life, she would spend the next six months being monitored and treated as her condition continued to fluctuate.

Over this time, Sheerie would be transferred multiple times to Markham Stouffville Hospital, and things worsened to the point where she had to be placed on a ventilator and undergo resuscitation for cardiac arrest. In March 2023, she was declared palliative and her family was told to prepare for the worst.

“Uxbridge was a well-oiled machine—the staff were positive, empathetic, and knowledgeable, developed strong relationships with the patients, and completely united as a cohesive team.”

Sheerie Fox

But then, thanks to the exceptional care of her local community hospital, things began to turn around. Though a slow and often scary journey, Sheerie’s health steadily improved, ultimately allowing her to leave the hospital and head home to return to life as usual. She credits her remarkable recovery to the entire Uxbridge team—from the nurses, clinicians, and physicians, including her own general practitioner Dr. Carlye Jensen to the rehabilitation, pharmacy, dietary, and environmental services staff. For Sheerie, they all had an important part to play.

“Uxbridge was a well-oiled machine—the staff were positive, empathetic, and knowledgeable, developed strong relationships with the patients, and completely united as a cohesive team. It was also family and friends who benefitted from their approach. My children were particularly grateful for how accommodating and comforting they were even through some of the darkest moments of my care, keeping them informed throughout the process and always remaining responsive to questions and reassuring when addressing concerns.”

When reflecting upon her lifesaving experience at Uxbridge Hospital, Sheerie’s appreciation also extended to those who have stood up to give back to the hospital and support its future for the sake of the community.

“The hospital is so important to our community, providing quality care close to home, warmth, compassion, and a sense of security. But it couldn’t happen without financial support, so those who give back as donors—no matter how much they give—are true champions for our community!”

A version of this story appeared in Uxbridge Hospital Foundation’s spring 2024 newsletter Our Community. Your Impact.