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  • Writer's pictureCarey Tate

Recognition for a life-saving pharmacist

Frances Goldberg is forever grateful for an exceptional pharmacist, who saved her life when she suffered from an allergic reaction that turned out to be more severe than anticipated.

"I came home from a restaurant and felt my tongue swelling and throat closing. I have an allergy to ginger, but I've never had an Epipen or anything. So I thought, oh, I'll just go to the pharmacy to get Benadryl."

When Frances mentioned these symptoms to the pharmacist, Maria Hanna, on duty at the Jean Coutu at 4894 Sources Boulevard in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, she signaled her concern.

"Maria was worried when she heard how I was talking, but I really just thought I needed Benadryl. She decided that she needed to administer an Epipen and call an ambulance so I could be monitored and taken to the hospital."

Frances is new to the area; she moved here from Calgary to tend to her 93-year-old father, who needs care around the clock, and was worried that she would be unable to find a replacement caregiver. By the time she had found somebody to look after him, she could feel her throat getting progressively worse, and that's when Maria lept into action. She brought Frances into her office, administered the Epipen, and called 911. Thankfully, the paramedics arrived shortly thereafter.


Frances has displayed her gratitude through gifts and balloons, but she wants to continue to spread the word about Maria's amazing gesture: "She was amazing and so calm. She took charge and saved my life!"

Frances stayed in-hospital for multiple hours to be monitored and have tests performed; the staff feared the symptoms could worsen. Thankfully, her symptoms only improved, and she is in good health.

"Maria did so much, she told me it's part of her job, but it's not. Her job is to advise, not necessarily to take the time and act as she did, and she was so sweet about it. She deserves the recognition."


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