Pat Denna was raised in the Clarendon area north of Sharbot Lake. Like so many others ended up moving to Kingston for work and opportunity. But she never lost touch with her family roots and when it was time to retire, she returned home with her husband in 2001. Their plans for retirement were cut short when he died suddenly 3 months later.

Pat relied on family, friends and neighbours to deal with the loss, and when she decided she needed something more, she made use of the Family Counselling service at NFCS. “It was really helpful for me, and it got me connected with the other programs at NFCS,” she said. I also started to go to Diners.”

Later, she developed health issues of her own, in the form of a rare neurological disorder which requires that she travel to Kingston hospital every two weeks for infusions. Transportation for these medical appointments is all arranged through NFCS. She also started attending the Day Away Program once a week.

She says, “It really has been that for me, a day to get away from everything, and it has been a place where I have made friends that are still friends years later.” Three years ago, Pat had both knees replaced, in succession.

“It takes quite a while to get over something like that. Once the first knee started to heal they did the second one, so it was long and slow. I had a Personal Support Worker come in to help with bathing and housework at that time, and Meals-on- Wheels was a huge help.”

Pat said that it was her husband’s dream to come back home when they retired and although “it gets difficult sometimes it gives me a great sense of security knowing I can turn to NFCS for help.”

Pat Denna