Patient Stories: Henry and Betty Schut
Compassion, empathy and a change of plans
When Henry and Betty Schut sat down to draft their life insurance policy, they chose 10 charities to grant donations to upon their deaths.
St. Mary’s General Hospital Foundation wasn’t on their list – not initially, anyway.
A severe blood clot in Betty’s heart in August 2020 changed everything, sending the Schut matriarch from her home in Woodstock, Ont., to St. Mary’s General Hospital in Kitchener to be treated at one of the top cardiac centres in the province.
St. Mary’s staff worked hard to keep Betty alive, but she died at the hospital two days later.
Grief-stricken, the Schut family banded together and made a decision: they would commemorate the compassion their mother received at St. Mary’s by adding the hospital foundation as a beneficiary on their insurance policy.
“The nurses and doctors were so empathetic and kind,” says Bonita Hannon, Betty and Henry’s daughter. “They treated my mom as if she was one of their own family members.”
St. Mary’s received $25,000 from the Schut’s estate after Henry died in August 2022.
The foundation recognized the significant contribution by adding the Schut’s names to the donor wall in the hospital’s lobby.
Bonita says the estate gift continues a legacy of generosity from Henry and Betty, who frequently donated to various charities in their lifetime in an effort to better the lives of those around them any way they could.
Their gift to St. Mary’s helps fund priority equipment and programs that will benefit patients throughout Waterloo Region and beyond.
And Bonita is proud to see her parents’ legacy live on that way.
“If there was something that could have saved my mom’s life – a different piece of equipment or some new technology – we would have loved to have that,” she says.
“If my parents’ donation means another family can have their loved one saved, that means everything to us.”
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