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Hudson family story

Generous donation advances Southlake’s Ability to diagnose and help cardiac and cancer patients

Brian and Sandy Hudson did a very generous thing. Long time supporters of Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation, offered to fund a hospital need and left it up to the teams at Southlake to determine where the need was greatest. Today, thanks to the Hudson’s very generous gift of $1.2 million, Southlake is now the grateful recipient of two state-of-the-art SPECT CT cameras, literally a dream come true for healthcare professionals and ultimately the patients they treat.

A SPECT CT scanner completes both a SPECT (single-photon emission computed tomography) nuclear medicine scan and a CT (computed tomography) scan at the same time. It then merges the images to provide precise data to radiologists and medical professionals. Unlike an x-ray, this advanced technology shows both form and function to utmost diagnostic accuracy. Used primarily for patients in Southlake’s Regional Cardiac and Cancer programs, SPECT CT technology means Medical Radiation Technologists can do more scans. As a result, medical and radiation oncologists, radiologists, and cardiac specialists will have confidence in having the very best image quality for developing treatment, post-treatment and follow-up plans. For patients, the added benefit of streamlining scans means less time to undergo test procedures.

As long time residents of Bradford, this is not the first time the Hudsons have made a big impact at Southlake. “Southlake is our community hospital, and it has served our family well,” says Sandy Hudson. Like most families, the Hudsons have visited Southlake over the years for a number of reasons, some routine, some joyous, and others heartbreaking. The Hudsons tragically lost their daughter, Lara, to cancer when she was just 35 years old.

To honour her, Brian and Sandy, together with their son David and his wife Catherine, created the “Lara Anne Hudson Foundation.” Over the years, they have made many contributions to Southlake, including funding an orthopaedic operating table.

The Hudsons know all too well about the volume of tests required when someone has a major illness. Their daughter’s cancer progression was quick, just 18 months from diagnosis until she passed away. “Our daughter was a happy person, a mother of two children who were her life,” says Sandy. “Even though it has been 17 years since she left us, it seems like yesterday.”

Throughout her illness, visits to hospitals for treatments and testing were endless. While the Hudsons left it up to Southlake and the Foundation to identify the need they would support, it is not lost on anyone the impact their generous gift will have on people going through a similar situation to what Lara experienced.

“Lara’s diagnosis came as a huge shock,” adds Brian, “but she received the best healthcare one could get at the time in the province of Ontario.” Through Lara’s illness, the Hudsons learned how vital the need is for funding so medical professionals have access to the latest and best technology like the SPECT CT.

(From left to right): Catherine Hudson, David Hudson, Jennifer Klotz-Ritter, President and CEO, Brian Hudson and Sandy Hudson.

“We have met so many incredible people at Southlake, doing the very best for their patients,” Brian says. “It feels good that we could provide help where it was needed,” he says.

While the original motivation for their financial support of Southlake was their daughter, today they also realize the need to ensure Southlake can provide the leading edge care its communities deserve.

“We are grateful that we could fund something that will not only make testing more efficient and comfortable for patients, but it may lead to earlier and more accurate diagnosis and perhaps even save lives,” says Brian. “We know Lara would be as happy as we are,” adds Sandy.