Thessalon Business helps bring priceless smiles to families

Photo by Lori Collis

Over the past several weeks we’ve all most likely seen, at one point or another, reports of families visiting loved ones outside of first floor windows of long term care facilities. But what do you do when a loved one resides on upper floors of those facilities?

Well desperation quite often leads to inspiration. That is exactly what happened when Lori Collis from Thessalon found herself determined to find a creative way to help out a friend.

The following is a heart warming story where together with the support of a local business and the caring team at Algoma Manor, Lori helped to make the impossible… well possible!

“My mom is living in the Algoma Manor here in Thessalon and of course with the Covid 19 Pandemic we are not allowed to visit our loved ones except unless of course your loved one has a room on the outside lower rooms then you can stand outside their windows catching a glimpse of them or perhaps sharing a few words and if they live on the top floor you can stand below waving and shouting your hellos.

Recently a friend’s mother became a resident at the Algoma Manor after being transferred from the Sault Hospital and sadly again because of the Covid 19 my friend has been unable to see her mom since hospitals and long-term care homes closed their doors to visitors.  Not long ago I seen a video online showing how a family hired a bucket truck so they could visit with their parent and it got me to thinking this would be perfect for my friend’s situation.

First off, I contacted the Arbor Barber Tree Services here in Thessalon and pitched my idea.  Rob Carson owner of the Arbor Barber did not hesitate to say yes.  Next I pitched my idea to Ms. Pamela Ficociello, Administrator at the Algoma Manor and when I received her email the first part read “We can absolutely make this happen”

Everything was falling into place or so I thought.  My friend’s situation changed suddenly, and she was not going to be able to utilize the bucket truck.  Instead of cancelling I once again reached out to Rob Carson of the Arbor Barber and asked if another family could take her place and again no hesitation.

Linda MacDonald, her daughter and granddaughter had the opportunity to see their family member located on the second floor of the Algoma Manor. They even used FaceTime to share ther experience with other family members from outside the area. Photo by Lori Collis

Fast forward to Saturday May 1, 2020 at 11:00 the activity room on the second floor was a flurry of activity, Farrel MacDonald was brought to the activity room to have a one on one visit with his wife Linda MacDonald through the window.  His smile could be seen from a distance.  Linda climbed into the bucket and Mr. Carson maneuvered her up to the window where the chatter of Linda and Farrel, PSW’s, nurses, and residents could be heard below.

Photo by Lori Collis

The best part of the day was when Farrel and Linda’s daughter and young granddaughter were given the opportunity to go up and see him.

That moment when they stopped in front of his window was priceless.”

Photo by Lori Collis


  1. Love it when there is some happy positive news. Glad for Linda and Farrel – thought I recognized him before I read the lovely story! Lynne Flood

  2. Can you contact the home and set up a facetime with your dad? Davey Home in Sault Ste,Marie are doing this for me with my mother…it does not replace the benefits of a visit in person but it has helped in keeping us contacted….

  3. What a wonderful idea I am sure the kids were so excited and not likely to forget their visit for a long time! It is still a beautiful world. Thanks Lori!

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