Ernst and Kathie Westphal of Osoyoos are donating $30

Osoyoos couple generous with Penticton hospital gift

Osoyoos couple donating $30,000 to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation’s Penticton hospital campaign.

Kathie and Ernst Westphal readily admit theirs is a different kind of love story.

The Osoyoos couple got married several years after both their spouses had passed away. All four were close friends in Prince George.

Now the Westphals are donating $30,000 to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation’s campaign to provide the medical equipment for the new tower at Penticton Regional Hospital.

Read more: This is how you can keep on eye on the hospital construction

“My first husband and I lived in Prince George and we knew Ernie and his first wife,” Kathie said. “We both lost our spouses, but we stayed in touch.”

Kathie said her two adult sons were actually the first to suggest that she and Ernst travel together after their spouses had died.

“My youngest son had graduated from SFU and he was going to travel to Australia and New Zealand,” she recalled. “Before he left, I remember him saying: ‘Have you and Ernie ever thought of travelling together?’”

By the time he returned home six months later, Kathie and Ernst had already followed through on his advice.

The two couple’s ties were even closer through their employment.

Ernst Westphal was a long-time member of the Prince George Fire Department, rising through the ranks before retiring in 1990 as assistant chief.  Kathie’s first husband was a volunteer member of the fire department, in addition to his job with B.C. Rail.

Kathie worked as a registered nurse at the Prince George hospital. One of the licensed practical nurses in her ward was Ernst’s first wife, who was trained as a pediatric nurse in her native Germany.

Ernst had immigrated to Canada at age 20 from what was then West Germany in 1954. Kathie grew up in Regina and moved to Prince George in 1962 after obtaining her nursing degree.

The couple have now been married 22 years, moving to Osoyoos shortly after their wedding.

They have been strong supporters of Penticton Regional Hospital over the years, especially after Ernst suffered a stroke more than three years ago.

“He wasn’t in hospital that long, but he had such excellent care,” Kathie said. “He’s had one go-around and we all use the hospital.”

Ernst said others will benefit from their PRH donation as well.

“You’re not just doing it for yourself, you’re doing it for everybody in the whole community,” he said.

A lot of South Okanagan residents come to Penticton Regional Hospital for medical treatments not available at South Okanagan General Hospital in Oliver.

Construction of the new PRH patient care tower is scheduled to be completed by early 2019.  Work will then begin on expanding the Emergency Department to almost four times its current size.

 

 

Just Posted

Holiday bears off to new homes

Annual Morning Star December giveaway draws crowd on cold Saturday morning

Outbreak at Okanagan hospital

Gastrointestinal illness reported at Vernon Jubilee Hospital

Meet two of BC’s tiniest service pups

Medical therapy dogs changed Princeton woman’s life

The Okanagan may not get snow for Christmas

You may not want to bet on having a White Christmas

Legion bell prank hits sour note

Anger erupts after Summerland Legion member removes bell from Peachland Legion

Me Too At Work: Sexual assault and harassment in the B.C. workplace

Introducing an in-depth look at who is affected and what can be done

‘Assemble your own meal’ kits grow into $120M industry in Canada

Kits offer a middle ground between eating out and grocery shopping

Millennials closing in as B.C.’s biggest wine drinkers

Generation X leads the way in current consumption of B.C. wine, as more wine drinkers are enjoying local varietals

Canadians lag behind Americans in giving to charity

Only one-in-five Canadians donated to charities in 2017

B.C. children adoption rates lagging, despite increased funding: watchdog

More than 1,000 children children are still waiting to be adopted, new report shows

Hurdles ahead for Sicamous off-road vehicle bylaw

RCMP, ICBC and province not yet on-board with district

FortisBC to lower natural gas rates in 2018

Rate changes to impact the Lower Mainland, Kootenays, Interior and Vancouver Island

Visit with Santa amidst the Big White snow

Snow lovers can head up to Big White this month to visit with Santa

Four-month-old baby girl critically injured in Toronto

Baby, a man and a woman in serious condition

Most Read