Donor's stories

Denyse Pharand-L’Écuyer et Bernard L’Écuyer

Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont Patients and donors

Photo of Bernard L'Écuyer and his wife, Denyse Pharand-L'Écuyer, have decided to invest in the community.

Bernard L'Écuyer and his wife, Denyse Pharand-L'Écuyer, have decided to invest in the community.

Investing in the wellbeing of one’s community

To make a deep and lasting contribution to the wellbeing of their community. That is what motivates and brings happiness to Denyse Pharand-L’Écuyer and Bernard L’Écuyer, both of whom have been retired for some years now.

“When you grow in age, your perspective changes,” confides Bernard. “All that you did in your life is now behind you. After the travels, the houses, the objects and all that, you need to find projects that will fulfil you and enable you to continue to feel useful. You want to give additional meaning to your life and leave a legacy.”

The couple thus enquired about the possibility of leaving a bequest in their will and took the decision to give a percentage of their estate to two organisations whose causes are dear to their hearts: the Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont (HMR) Foundation and the Montreal Botanical Garden.

“We chose the health sector and the HMR Foundation in particular, because it is a sound and credible organization,” explains Bernard. “The HMR is a part of our community and has made a name for itself through the great care it provides to all. It is now up to us in the East of Montreal and beyond to sustain this good work, to do our part and lead by example.”

Bernard and Denyse earmarked their bequest for research in ophthalmology, a field in which the Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont excels. “We focussed on what has hindered us in our life and our old age, because we really understand the suffering these diseases cause,” acknowledges Denyse. The couple also wanted to make sure their bequest would make a lasting impact and contribute to saving and improving the lives of as many patients as possible—what Bernard refers to as the maximum multiplier effect.

Photo of the Donor Wall of Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont

A leaf was added to the Donor Wall located at the Espace Fondation in the J.A. De Sève pavilion at the HMR as a way of thanking them and honouring their generosity and commitment—in their lifetime. A form of recognition they greatly appreciate.

By this gesture, Denyse Pharand-L’Écuyer and Bernard L’Écuyer have established a meaningful legacy that will contribute to advancing research and providing hope, as well as concrete and lasting benefits for our entire community and beyond. The HMR Foundation is deeply honoured to be the recipient of this generous and thoughtful gift.

“It does the soul good and it is extremely rewarding to see our contribution recognized and witness its impact in our lifetime,” admits Bernard. “Making this bequest now doesn’t affect our standard of living; the HMR Foundation helped greatly and will look after the estate when the time comes. It’s a win-win situation for everybody!”

Denyse and Bernard’s generosity doesn’t’ stop there, however. A few months later, upon visiting the HMR’s Department of Ophthalmology—designated as Université de Montréal’s ophthalmology teaching centre since 2015—, the couple learns that the Department’s highest priority is acquiring new imaging equipment that could have an enormous impact on the health of thousands of Quebecers. Denyse and Bernard don’t hesitate and decide to supplement government funding with a generous one-time donation to allow the department to purchase this vital tool without delay.

This state-of-the-art imaging device facilitates detailed examination of the retina and will enhance pathology detection, disease management and patient flow. It will also prove essential in the early detection and accurate diagnosis of a large number of ocular diseases, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD). “This machine will last 10 years and help doctors make quicker, precise diagnosis, allowing for the treatment of more patients suffering from ocular conditions,” states Denyse. “It will allow problems, such as glaucoma, AMD and corneal cancers to be detected at an early stage when actions can still be taken.”

The device will also provide important clinical data, which will be used to create a centralized database of patients with retinal problems. Being accessible to all doctors and researchers, the database will contribute to the advancement of patient care and research for the benefit of all patients.

“You have to put money back into ensuring the well-being of our community, by reinvesting it in the latest cutting-edge healthcare technologies,” Bernard points out. “It can save lives, reduce the impact of degenerative problems, and enrich our end of life which, otherwise, could become a form of daily torture.“

“We are investing to provide HMR and its teams with the best tools. This is our way of showing that we love you,” adds Denyse. “Each recognition plaque displayed in the Hospital or on a piece of medical equipment is a source of wellbeing for staff members, bearing witness, each and every day, to the tangible benefits resulting from community support and the important role they play in the lives of people.”

As such, the L’Écuyer’s donation is truly a gift of immeasurable benefit to the HMR and our entire community. It supports and strengthens our commitment towards improving qualify of life and care for one of the most vulnerable and fastest growing segments of the population. “Providing a good end of life for our seniors and ourselves, and for all of us when it will be our turn or even before, we owe it to ourselves!” concludes Bernard.