Photo: MUHC
Photo: MUHC

Both the end and the start of an era were marked on Sunday, April 26, 2015, at the old and new sites of the Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) of the MUHC. While the moon was still high, hundreds of volunteers made their way to the RVH and the Glen site.

At 5:30 a.m. MUHC leaders met with Urgences-Santé and Medicar drivers at the RVH.

By 7:10 a.m., with the sun now shining in a blue sky, the first ambulance was on its way in what would be a steady parade until 12:30 p.m. when the last patient was ushered safely in and everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

Emotions were palpable throughout the day. After all, this was a historic, hard-earned and bittersweet moment, given the decades’ worth of memories made within the Vic’s stately walls and the tremendous energy invested by people at every level, as well as by trusted partners, to get the MUHC to and through the first day successfully.

And what a glorious success it was! Before the first ambulance arrived, the parents of the Glen’s first baby arrived. Within 38 minutes, at 6:55 a.m., a healthy 3.6 kg boy was delivered in the Birthing Centre. It is hard to think of a  more auspicious beginning for the Glen than the gift of a new life and family!

Some 2,500 clinicians covered patient care at both sites, while 600 healthcare professionals and other volunteers contributed to the safe and efficient move. The coordination of discharge and admitting at each site, as well as the transport to the various inpatient units, were impressive while Health Care Relocations’ (HCR) colour-coded t-shirts made it a snap to identify quickly all the different types of support on hand. By 1:15 p.m., Black Watch Association of Montreal bagpipers filled the air on the hill with a tribute to “Our Lady Royal Victoria Hospital”, which included Amazing Grace.

Congratulations to the MUHC on this historic accomplishment, to be celebrated fully at the parade in June!