OTTAWA ó The Ottawa Hospital formally has apologized to Jacques Demers after a mistake during surgery nearly cost the senator his life.
"Our policy is very clear: When we make an error, we apologize," hospital spokesperson Hazel Harding told newspaper Le Droit.
The apology came five weeks after Demers, a Canadian senator and former NHL coach, underwent two surgeries in Ottawa.
On June 29, Demers was operated on to repair a hernia. However, a portion of an intestine was accidentally cut during the operation, which caused Demers to develop a serious infection. He then required a second, emergency operation.
Earlier this week, Demers said members of his family were frightened when told by hospital officials that he might not survive the surgery.
While saying he was not making any accusations, Demers said, "it was a mistake (for the hospital) to act this way."
Demers will need a third operation in September or October to fix a another hernia and likely will miss the beginning of the Senate's fall session Sept. 28.