Sylvia Dingle passed away in June 2018, but her legacy and commitment to the Aberdeen Hospital will carry on well into the future. Dedication that shone during her lifetime, continues with a generous bequest from her estate to the fund that bears her father’s name: The Bain Langley Palliative Care Education Endowment.
Born in New Glasgow, Sylvia spent part of her childhood in Ottawa and Montreal before returning to her Nova Scotian roots. She studied at Queens University and graduated from nursing at the Montreal General in 1965. Sylvia was a loving mother of four children, dedicated nurse, and engaged member of the community. In 1986, as President of the Aberdeen Hospital Ladies Auxiliary, she played an instrumental role in the formation of the Aberdeen Health Foundation.
“Mom was a volunteer at heart and had a strong connection to her community, especially the Aberdeen Hospital,” says Sylvia’s daughter, Barb Elliott. “I still remember as a child, her bringing us to help out in the Gift Shop and to volunteer at various fundraisers. She believed in building the best possible hospital and that we could all make a difference.”
Not only a committed volunteer, Sylvia was also an Ostomy nurse and Head of Admitting. Her appreciation and relationship with the hospital deepened even more when her father was in Palliative Care.
Sylvia’s gift is a continuation of the long-standing support the hospital and Foundation have received from her family. Bain Langley was a founding Director and Chair of the Aberdeen Health Foundation. He died of cancer in 1989, too soon to realize the success that his efforts would bring to Pictou County and the Foundation. His illness was brief, yet intense, and his family knows from experience how palliative care can make a difference. The Bain Langley Palliative Care Education Endowment was established by Bain’s lifelong friend, Douglas Gordon. The fund provides continuing education opportunities for staff in the Aberdeen Hospital’s Palliative Care Unit.
Palliative Care is centred on helping patients and their families understand diagnoses, make decisions, and find comfort at the end of life. Caregivers have to show up every day with great presence of mind, open-heartedness, and compassion. It is work that draws heavily on one’s emotional reserves. The Bain Langley Palliative Care Education Endowment ensures that the doctors and nurses of the Aberdeen Hospital’s Palliative Care Unit have the opportunity for continued educational support and renewal. Being able to connect with others who work in the same area and learn about the latest research and caregiving methodologies benefits staff, patients, and their families.
“We are incredibly grateful that Sylvia remembered the Aberdeen Health Foundation in her Will,” says Executive Director, Michelle Ferris. “This gift, while very personal, is another demonstration of Sylvia’s generosity to her community. It is an honour to receive this donation, which continues a tradition of giving in her family that spans generations.”