Together, our community cared for Orpha Thrasher

“I’m the luckiest person alive….. and, if it weren’t for Guelph General Hospital, I wouldn’t be here today.” Orpha Thrasher, a bright-eyed, beaming, youthful lady, turned 100 years-old in February! She celebrated the century by undertaking one hundred walks to raise money for a local charity. It was quite an achievement, covered by local news and even CBC. But it is the Guelph General Hospital (GGH) that Orpha really wants people to know about.

Orpha had surgery at GGH back in 1988 for colorectal cancer. Then, in 2002, she returned with a bowel obstruction caused by adhesions and irregular bands of scar tissue formed between bowel loops. Since that time, she has been back to the hospital more times than she can count for those obstructions, some years more than four visits. 

Each visit requires an ambulance trip, X-rays, intravenous drip, liquid diet, and several days of constant care to get back on track and back home. Yet Orpha has an incredibly positive outlook. “I’m so lucky; I can’t believe it! I would never have reached 100 if it weren’t for the Hospital and its wonderful staff. All that care, and I didn’t have to pay a dime! Many people don’t realize that the government doesn’t fund the hospital entirely; it relies on community support to be the best it can be.”

When asked about her secret to a long life, Orpha is clear. “Walking is the secret. I walk pretty much every day.” She keeps her mind nimble by playing Scrabble online and working out the latest Wordle game. And she always has a jigsaw puzzle on the go. In her words, “I have more fun than anybody!”

Orpha had a nursing career, so she understands the importance of the hospital’s local fundraising. She wants people to realize that GGH needs their support and hopes her story will inspire others to give.

Thank you so much, Orpha, for your support and your inspiration!