Crystal Hollingshead’s reason for supporting the Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation (SMHF) is simple.

If it wasn’t for Stevenson Memorial Hospital (SMH), her son likely wouldn’t be here today. “The moment I am most thankful for was also the scariest moment of my life,” Crystal said.

Three years ago, her oldest son Cooper had a severe asthma attack in his sleep.

Crystal and her husband, Glen, were jolted out of bed by a loud, high pitch scream and ran to Cooper’s room. Cooper was standing up, blue in the face. Suddenly he passed out on top of her. Crystal quickly realized he wasn’t breathing, and started performing CPR, while Glen called 911. Cooper was rushed to SMH, where they took him straight into the Emergency Department’s trauma room. “I realized we needed to stay out of the way. It took quite a while for them to get him stabilized and intubated because he was vomiting.”

The Everett family is forever grateful that SMH was just minutes away when every second mattered. “If we didn't have access to a hospital so close to home our son would not be here today,” Crystal said.

Once Cooper was stabilized, he was transported by Ornge helicopter to SickKids Hospital with his mom by his side. Cooper spent nearly a week in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at SickKids before being moved to the respiratory floor.

They return to SickKids every three months for follow-ups at the Asthma Clinic. But the experience at SMH is what sticks out in her mind the most. “During the scariest time of our lives the incredible nurses and doctors made sure they kept us informed and calm. I can't say enough about the staff and how they helped to make such a scary time more manageable.

Crystal is so grateful she was CPR trained, and Cooper is too now. He received his CPR certification soon after the incident. “He feels that it’s important for him to know what to do.”

Born and raised in Alliston, Crystal and her family have used SMH’s services many times. From asthma attacks, to surgeries and broken bones, they’re always glad to have their community hospital.

“Growing up in Alliston, I have seen that things have changed over time, the population has multiplied many times over and our small hospital has stayed the same. Somehow they manage to treat this constantly increasing population and provide great care.”

Crystal volunteers on the New Tecumseth Memorial Run Committee, which raised more than $16,000 for the Foundation this year through their 5 KM run. It’s her way to give back to the Hospital that saved her son’s life.

 “It’s the little things that add up that make a difference.”