November 10, 2009 17:00 ET

Law firm gift helps Sunnybrook meet demand for emergency services

Attention: Assignment Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Lifestyle Editor, Media Editor, News Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO, MEDIA ADVISORY--(Marketwire - Nov. 10, 2009) - Sunnybrook announced today the largest gift it has ever received from a law firm. Carranza Barristers & Solicitors have donated $1.5 million in support of Sunnybrook's Trauma, Emergency and Critical Care program.

"We believe we can help bring some dignity into the lives of people who have experienced traumatic injuries," said Juan Carranza.

Brothers Juan and Cesar Carranza understand trauma firsthand. Having fled the war in El Salvador in 1980, the brothers eventually escaped to Canada in 1983, shortly after the United States refused to accept them as refugees.

"We had opportunities in Canada that we never would have had in the U.S.," Mr. Carranza explained. "We have a deep appreciation for Canadian social services. We were able to go to school and get an education here. The opportunities we had really showed what this country is all about.

"Many of our clients have been patients in Sunnybrook's Emergency Department. It never ceases to amaze us, the gravity of these people's situations and how well they have been cared for," Mr. Carranza continued.

Bruno Caranci is one such person. An Italian immigrant working in construction, Caranci hired the Carranzas after he was paralyzed in an accident.

"I was deer hunting in Bancroft. I was in the trailer when it flipped. It landed on my back. I remember lying there, wondering why I couldn't get up. I touched my leg, and my hand could feel my leg, but my leg couldn't feel my hand," Mr. Caranci explained.

Shortly after, Mr. Caranci was airlifted to Sunnybrook and rushed into the Emergency Department.

"I was blown away by the care I got. I had never been in a hospital before that, and you hear stories. That first week, I had someone by my side 24/7. Without that kind of care, I wouldn't be walking," he said.

"Our patients' lives depend on our critical care teams, and our teams needed more space," says Kevin Goldthorp, chief executive officer of Sunnybrook Foundation. "They need to perform perfectly 100 per cent of the time."

"Before construction began for our new Emergency Department, we were caring for more than double the patients our facility was designed to handle," he explained.

"The facility was falling short. The Carranzas' landmark gift has helped Sunnybrook finish building a world-leading new facility," Mr. Goldthorp continued. "It's now worthy of our teams, and it's a necessity for them if we are to meet the growing need."

Dr. Barry McLellan, president and CEO of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre explained that, although health care is primarily funded by the government, private donations fund much of the construction, technology and research that fuel innovation.

"We desperately need this type of donor funding to continue doing what we do," he went on to say. "We are inventing the future of health care. To do that, we need to go above and beyond, and we need help from the community."

Mr. Carranza is happy to help Sunnybrook achieve its vision, and believes his firm mirrors the Hospital's leadership.

"Our firm is not one of the biggest law firms in Canada, but we wanted to make a real difference," he said. "Our only regret is that we couldn't do more."

About Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is inventing the future of health care, using innovative approaches to treat more people with their lives on the line than any other hospital in Canada. An internationally recognized leader in research and education, Sunnybrook is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. Sunnybrook provides specialized care for Canada's war veterans, women with high-risk pregnancies, critically-ill newborns, and people with cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, orthopaedic and arthritic conditions, and traumatic injuries.

About the Campaign for Sunnybrook

The Campaign for Sunnybrook will see our community - people, companies, foundations and community groups - invest $470 million in the health care of the people served by Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Our goal is to raise these funds by 2014. Along with the generosity of the private sector, governments will provide matching grants of more than $300 million. In total, the Campaign for Sunnybrook will stimulate a $770-million investment in the health of our community.

To learn more or make a donation, visit

About Carranza Barristers & Solicitors

Offering services in more than 15 languages, Carranza Barristers & Solicitors is dedicated to meeting the ever-increasing personal injury needs of marginalized and immigrant populations. The firm, which has grown to a staff of 50 over 20 years, has represented many traumatically injured clients whose lives were saved by Sunnybrook.

For more information, visit


Media contact:

Laura Bristow

Contact Information

  • Laura Bristow, Communications Advisor, Communications & Stakeholder Relations
    Primary Phone: 416-480-4040