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The Globe and Mail

In Pictures: Bridgepoint Hospital heads to a new home

The Toronto rehab hospital shifts all its staff and patients to a new building in just one day

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On Sunday, Bridgepoint Hospital moved its patients to their new home, next door to the old hospital in Toronto’s Riverdale. That morning, Cheryl Lewis is showered and dressed in one of her favourite blouses as she waits for her turn to move.

Matthew Sherwood/The Globe and Mail

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Ms. Lewis, a resident of Bridgepoint Hospital for over five years, heads down a corridor in the old hospital with Marian Walsh, president and CEO of Bridgepoint Health. Ms. Lewis has watched every brick being laid in the new Bridgepoint, and she admits she was a bit nostalgic about leaving the old place, with its circular corridors. “We’re like family here. A community,” says Ms. Lewis. “But I have to say I definitely won’t miss the old unisex bathrooms.”

Matthew Sherwood/The Globe and Mail

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Staff arrived on Sunday as early as 6 a.m. to decorate the corridor. Ms. Walsh beams as she pushes along Ms. Lewis, who is overwhelmed by the cheers and tears that greet her along the way. “I’ve never had applause for being last before,” quips the Oshawa grandmother of three. “I’ve only seen the outside of the building, which I was totally fascinated watching go up. So this is something I’ve been dying to see, from the inside out.”

Matthew Sherwood/The Globe and Mail

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When she was first admitted to Bridgepoint five years ago, her doctors and therapists told Lewis and husband John she’d likely be there for two months. Setbacks have kept her there, but she’s now hoping to go home for good in two or three months. “What can I say?” she laughs. “I’m a slow healer.”

Matthew Sherwood/The Globe and Mail

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Ms. Lewis has her idenfication bracelet checked as she enters the new hospital. For the hospital’s move, security was tight and emergency medical responders were on hand in case something went wrong. Nothing did.

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Ms. Lewis heads to the elevators that will take her to the ninth floor.

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Fast friends and roomies for eight months, Lewis and Fran Sharp, a MS patient who has lost both her legs, wait patiently for their beds to arrive.

Matthew Sherwood/The Globe and Mail

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This September, John and Cheryl Lewis celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. And every day for the past five years, John has risen at 5:30, hopped on the Go Train and made the two-hour trek to visit his plucky wife. “I told him I’d cut him out of the will if he didn’t come,” jokes Cheryl. “I don’t have the right words to say how I feel about the nurses, doctors and therapists at Bridgepoint,” says Lewis. “They’re like family.”

Matthew Sherwood/The Globe and Mail

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Mr. Lewis has learned how to dress her wounds, so she has been going home on weekends. The first time she walked into their Oshawa home, she says she told John “he’s done such a good job keeping house, it’s his job now.”

Matthew Sherwood/The Globe and Mail

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