Meet Bob Sinclair


At 85-years-old, Robert (Bob) Sinclair, a retired widower and avid golfer who lives in the community of Green Briar, has always enjoyed good health and an active lifestyle, until he suddenly fell ill last August.

“I had been participating in the Men’s Golfing Championship that day and I just wasn’t feeling well,” recalls Bob. “I went home to lie down, thinking I was dehydrated, but I knew something was wrong.”

Later that night, Bob went to Stevenson Memorial Hospital (SMH) and was treated for dyhydration and released, but his symptoms quickly became worse.

“The next day when I woke up, I tried to stand up and I fell down. A friend drove me back to the hospital and my vital signs were off. I was admitted and over the next few days my symptoms dramatically worsened. I was confused, my vision was blurry, I couldn’t walk anymore and I was starting to become paralyzed on my left side. By Monday, a team of doctors was consulting on my case, trying to figure out what could be causing me to become so sick. One of my doctors suggested a spinal tap, suspecting that it might be a virus that was attacking my body.”

“When the spinal tap results came back, I was shocked to learn that I had West Nile Disease, a potentially deadly virus that can attack your central nervous system. I was one of three confirmed cases of people with West Nile in Simcoe County last summer.”

Diagnosed with a rare Neuromuscular Manifestation of West Nile Virus Infection, Bob spent the next four weeks at SMH, slowly regaining his strength and starting rehabilitation to help him learn to walk again. “Being in bed for four weeks, I lost 25lbs and a lot of muscle tone. I was paralyzed on my left side and I had nerve damage in my right arm and shoulder. The physiotherapists came to meet with me several times a week and Cindy in particular always brightened my day.”

After four weeks, Bob was transferred to Riverwood Retirement Home to continue physical rehabilitation and after many weeks of hard work, Bob was finally able to go back home to Green Briar, last November.

“I’m not one who likes the spotlight, but if my story can help someone else then I’m happy to share,” continues Bob. “I would never have thought that I could get West Nile disease. I’ve spent 60 years at a cottage in the Muskoka’s and I’ve never once had a problem with a mosquito. But I had no idea, how much it could affect you.”

“Thankfully, I received exceptional care,” continues Bob, who has gone on to make a remarkable recovery and says he’s doing well today. “The staff at SMH did an excellent job. They really looked after me and they were so caring. They did everything they could to make sure I was comfortable.”

Today, not even a year later, Bob is back out on the golf course and busy travelling, grateful for the exceptional care he received.

Thank you for making incredible stories like Bob’s possible. Your support touches the lives of countless people like Bob in our community every year and helps us provide the very best care, close to home for everyone who needs us.