Many people have already used the Plan Well Guide – you can read some of their stories here.

Would you like to share your experience? Send your story to Dr. Daren Heyland at dkh2@queensu.ca.

October 2018

Dr. Heyland,

I just wanted to thank you for involving us in your planning seminars.   We did read through the information, filled it out, talked to our children about our decisions and ultimately knew what we wanted the end to look like.  In my wildest dreams, I would never have envisioned using this information as soon as we did.

A few months later, on September 4th, Gary fell, hit his head and ended up in a life threatening situation with a severe brain trauma. He was air lifted to the ICU at Foothills Hospital in Calgary where he spent the next couple of weeks.  He passed away peacefully September 19th.  He had an opportunity to communicate [not verbally but with his eyes & hand squeezing] with each of our children and with me, which the Doctors said was a miracle.  Indeed it was a miracle and we were truly blessed to have those special moments with him.

Although this was one of the hardest experiences of my life, it was made easier by our planning exercise with you. When the doctor’s approached me to make decisions on Gary’s behalf, I didn’t want the stress of taking that responsibility all by myself and was so grateful that I heard Gary’s voice and was able to communicate his wishes to the doctors. The planning helped me understand what he would have wanted. And because he had already discussed those wishes with our children, they also understood what was best to do. It was so helpful to have the family ‘all on the same page.’

I feel it is so important to talk about these things. You don’t want to feel guilty about what was done. You want to feel like you honored your loved ones’ last wishes. I strongly encourage others to engage in this planning exercise- don’t procrastinate this task because you never know when you will need it!


Alberta Canada

November 2018

My husband’s health was declining and we were uncertain how best to plan for the future. Our family doctor was not helpful but the home care nurse suggested we ask to get involved in the special clinic where your Plan Well materials were being presented. Initially, we found the experience very intimidating because we had no idea about the different types of medical care that we had to considered. But we found the materials very straightforward, very easy to understand, and very helpful. Although we found it uncomfortable to talk about death and dying, we knew we need to push through this and finalize our plan and discuss with our family and our doctor. Those conversations went really well, because we knew what we wanted to have happen.

After all was said and done, we had a tremendous sense of ‘relief’ that we were better informed and better prepared for what might come in the future.

Mary Anne

Lethbridge, Alberta

My mother is 95 and had trouble navigating the website so I sat with her and went through all the material and watched all the videos. We were both quite impressed that there is something out there like this that provides us with all this information, that we are not left up to ourselves to figure this all out. We found the website very informative and helpful. The introductory video was particularly compelling. We had never thought of many of these important things before. Thank you for involving us in this program.



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