Touching Lives: Murray Gillis
A nearby home for Murray
Murray Gillis is not your typical resident of Colville Manor. In his early 50s he is one of the youngest residents at the long-term care facility. His sunny disposition fits in perfectly with the bright and cheerful atmosphere of the building. A big hockey fan, his room is decorated with Toronto Maple Leaf sweaters and a photograph of himself with the Stanley Cup.
Murray was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, a permanent disorder which affects muscle movement and posture caused by damage to a child’s brain before or shortly after birth. The third youngest of eight children, Murray lived with his parents Joe & Margaret Gillis in East Point until his late 20s. As a very young child his parents realized Murray wasn’t like the other kids. As his father says, “When he was small he was slow to talk. The rest of the family would talk for him.”
Murray’s parents took care of him at home until his needs became too physically demanding. “It got that I couldn’t look after him,” says Margaret. Murray had started taking seizures, which led to a stay in Souris Hospital. After considering their options, it was decided that Colville Manor would be the best place for Murray to make his new home. Margaret says that when Murray first moved to the manor the other residents treated him like he was their kid. When asked if he might be a bit spoiled, Murray grins and raises his eyebrows. With a smile Margaret says, “I think they baby him too much.”
For Murray’s parents it is a relief to have such a well-equipped facility in Souris for their son to call home. It is easy for his family to visit, and provides peace of mind knowing that he is so well cared for. As Margaret says, “I don’t know what we would do without it.” The medical equipment and materials purchased by the Eastern Kings Health Foundation supports the care and improves the lives of residents of Colville Manor every day.