A tree was recently planted at the entrance of Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital in memory of Ed DeSutter and Dylan D’Hulster, who spearheaded the campaign to bring dialysis services to the residents of Tillsonburg and the surrounding communities.
The six-chair Ed DeSutter Satellite Dialysis Unit opened in December 2005 and currently provides more than 4,000 dialysis treatments annually. DeSutter led the campaign and D’Hulster, aged seven at the time, was the poster boy for the fundraising campaign. D'Hulster was a long-time patient at the unit and the dialysis nurses formed a special bond with him. DeSutter passed away in 2007 and D’Hulster in 2015.
“Ed had a dream, to bring dialysis services closer to home,” explained Linda DeSutter, wife to Ed. “Between Ed and Dylan, and with the help of the Campaign Committee and the community, we made the dream a reality.”
The creation of the Ed DeSutter Satellite Dialysis Unit is proof of what a community can do to support their local hospital,” said Crystal Houze, President and CEO of TDMH. “It’s pretty special to the patients that use the Unit to know that they can access this service close to home thanks to a special man and a very special little boy.”
“We are fortunate to have this life-saving treatment at our local hospital and I am so proud that Dylan was part of the legacy,” said Dylan’s father Greg D’Hulster.
One in 10 Canadians has kidney disease and dialysis is the most common treatment used.
The planting of the memorial tree is timely because the Kidney Foundation of Canada Annual Walk is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 18 at 10 a.m. at the front of the hospital. Registration begins at 9 a.m. on the 18th.
The tree was donated by Courtland Professional Property Management, Tillsonburg and the memorial plaque will be donated by the DeSutter and D’Hulster families.