He Died on my Chest

July 15, 2014
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Guest Information

Episode Description

Sherie Vukelic is 28. Born in Toronto, she was raised in a loving, close-knit family. Her first pregnancy, with triplets, ended a day before her 25th birthday. She lost all three babies. She explains what ‘He Died on my Chest’ means. She describes the ways in which the babies’ deaths affected her and her husband, and how they keep them in their memories. She describes her non-profit business, ‘Forever Loved Angel Gowns’, http://foreverlovedangelgowns.com/. She says why she set it up, where she got the idea from, and who works with her. She recalls her reaction when she’d completed the very first Angel Gown. She discusses responses to the business, and says how it helps her and her family remember the babies, helps her family generally, and how it helps other mothers and families who have lost babies. She explains what more she would like to do to grow the business and the help she’d welcome. She shares her message for families who have lost babies like she and her family did.

Family Caregivers Unite!

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Family caregivers are the people who provide care to partners, parents, children, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, neighbors and even co-workers. They are the people who provide care when everyone else has gone home. They are the people who organize the functioning of the home for the person with special needs, and for the family as a whole. They are the coordinators of care, the managers of appointments, the preventers of loneliness, and the makers of decisions even to the point of Power of Attorney. And they are so often people who themselves are burdened with their own health challenges and who may be in only marginally better health than the persons to whom they are providing family caregiving.

Dr. Gordon Atherley

Dr Gordon Atherley holds the British equivalent of the Canadian PhD and MD degrees, and LLD, Honoris Causa, from Canada’s Simon Fraser University. His awards include Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, UK. His medical specialties are occupational medicine and public health.
As first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, the Canadian equivalent of the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, he led the creation of Canada’s electronic information service in occupational health and safety, now used in more than 40 countries.
In academia, he held senior, tenured, full-time positions, including departmental chair, in university faculties of physics, engineering, and medicine. He is the author of a textbook and numerous articles and publications.

Since retiring from medical practice, he’s built up Greyhead Associates, which critically researches the safety, effectiveness and fairness of health services for persons with special needs.
Through Virtual Care International, a company of which he’s President, he’s involved in providing sensible technology to family caregivers to help them with their responsibilities, workloads, and concerns.
Now an activist, he urges family caregivers to unite because, more and more, it’s not just their families who depend on them, it’s also the healthcare system as a whole, as it struggles to meet more and more needs of more and more people.

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