December 21, 2022

ICU Nurse Supports St. Joe’s 3 Wishes Project in the Coolest Way

Yulia Shevchenko, a longtime nurse in St. Joe’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU), has pledged to take 333 polar plunges into the icy waters of Lake Ontario this year to raise funds for our Hospital’s 3 Wishes Project, a program that supports palliative care in the ICU by granting patients nearing the end of their lives a few final wishes.

The 3 Wishes Project was co-created by Dr. Deborah Cook and members of the palliative care team at St. Joe’s to bring peace to patients and their families in their final moments. These wishes can be small and simple requests like fingerprint keepsakes or personalized artwork for the bereaved family; but other times they may be a bedside wedding, or arranging an intimate dinner or a visit from a beloved pet. These final wishes are so impactful and help to celebrate lives well-lived while supporting those left behind in grief.

This project is not only dear to Yulia because of its impact on the lives of the patients, families, and care teams with whom she works, but also because of her experience as an ICU nurse during the COVID-19 pandemic, when end-of-life care changed drastically.

Yulia has completed more than 322 polar dips to date. Follow along as she chronicles her chilly challenge on Instagram (@yuliafishmom) and TikTok (@yuliahamiltonon), while raising funds to support the 3 Wishes Project at St. Joe’s.

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This story was originally published in our 2021-22 Donor Impact Report. Click here to read the full report and discover other inspiring stories from our supporters.

Photo: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

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