Family with daughter in eating disorders program at Oakville hospital ‘grateful’


Published February 10, 2023 at 12:35 pm

Halton Healthcare recently received a letter from a family of a patient in their Outpatient Eating Disorders Program in hopes of creating awareness for any families who may need it and praising the team of social workers, nurse practitioners, dietitians, psychiatrists and paediatricians. HALTON HEALTHCARE PHOTO

The family of a patient in Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital’s Outpatient Eating Disorders Program says the team at the hospital sees their daughter “for the person she is.”

In an anonymous letter written recently to Halton Healthcare in an effort to create awareness for any other families who may need it, the family praised staff for all they have done and continue to do for their daughter.

“The Halton Healthcare team sees our daughter for the person she is and not just her illness,” said the parents in the letter. “They are genuinely invested in her recovery from this eating disorder and in her long-term wellbeing.

“With both the clinic’s and parental support, our daughter is re-gaining weight, health and those parts of her life which had been lost or compromised.”

The family explained their daughter had developed an eating disorder last year. After her weight, mood and health plummeted rapidly, they began an “anxious search” for a diagnosis and treatment plan.

“This was a difficult task as we now know that her eating disorder is rooted in an underlying (and at the time, undiagnosed) mental health disorder,” said the parents.

Despite meeting with several helpful and knowledgeable health care providers, none during their search were able to take full ownership over the intertwining disorders and all the necessary components of the diagnostic and treatment process.

“As parents, this was a time of deep fear, confusion and helplessness,” they said. “Our daughter became more and more ill and malnourished and parts of her life began to fall away.”

She was no longer full participating in school, activities she had long enjoyed or fully engaging with her friends and family.

“It felt at the time as if we had woken up on a new planet and had no way to orient ourselves,” they said.

All the familiar ways to navigate through life, all goalposts, seemed to have vanished.

“As a family, we felt terrified and alone,” the parents added.

That changed, they say, when their daughter began treatment at Halton Healthcare’s Outpatient Eating Disorders Program.

“The team immediately rallied around us and provided the guidance, framework and path forward that we needed,” said the family in the letter.

This began, critically, with a diagnosis and treatment plan that was adaptable to their daughter’s individual needs.

The family found the team eminently knowledgeable, experienced and professional. Reassured by the time staff in the program would take to work through their many questions.

“Moreover, and this has been especially important for our young daughter, they are friendly, approachable, caring and empathetic,” they said.

While the recovery process still continues, the staff have repeatedly assured the family that they will be with them throughout.

“We could not be more grateful for the clinicians on our team and their treatment of our daughter and support of us as a family,” concluded the letter.

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