From concrete blocks to babies: Four generations at Mac

From concrete blocks to babies: Four generations at Mac

By Dr. Dustin Costescu, OB/GYN, Hamilton Health Sciences

I work with dads almost every day. As an OB/GYN, I love helping new dads and dads-to-be navigate their way through parenthood. It’s inspiring. There are a few dads I find particularly inspiring, though—my own dad and my maternal grandfather. I’m lucky to have a reminder of what they’ve done for me almost every day at work.

My grandfather immigrated to Canada from Wales in 1952 in search of work as a foreman. He was involved in the construction of many skyscrapers in Toronto and several projects in Hamilton. One stands out to me for very obvious reasons. He was part of the crew that built Hamilton Health Sciences’ (HHS) McMaster University Medical Centre (MUMC).

My dad—my grandfather’s soon-to-be son-in-law—also worked on the project. As the first person in his family to go to college or university, he worked in construction to pay his tuition. He still talks about the long hot days he spent pouring concrete in the MUMC parking lot. Not long after, he married his high school sweetheart, my mom.

It’s because of their sacrifices that I’m where I am today. Little did they know that I would go to medical school and go on to work in the very hospital they helped to build.

An exterior photo of McMaster University Medical Centre, a large, cement building, with a blue sky in the background

I’m a father myself now. I have two kids and my eldest has been a patient at McMaster Children’s Hospital’s pediatric cardiology clinic, which is housed in MUMC, since she was born. It isn’t lost on me that the hospital her grandfather and great grandfather built is an important part of her life. Both of my children love visiting me at work and seeing where babies are born. It makes me such a proud dad. I hope one day they will go on to work or volunteer at HHS.

This Father’s Day, as I celebrate the dads in my life, I’m grateful for everything they’ve done for me and the health of our community. Whether your title is construction worker, doctor, teacher, or dad, you play an important part in raising our next generation. Thanks dads.