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B.C. care home resident who died of COVID-19 had ‘strong will and quick wit’

Family of B.C. Coronavirus care home victim speak out
WATCH: Family of B.C. Coronavirus care home victim speak out

A resident of the North Vancouver care home who has died of COVID-19 is being remembered for her strength and smile.

Sandra Cairns died at Lynn Valley Care Centre, where a cluster of coronavirus cases were some of the first reported in the province.

“She was an amazing woman with a strong will and a quick wit,” wrote her daughter-in-law, Anita Coueffin-Cairns, in a tribute on social media on Friday.

READ MORE: Daughter of man at Lynn Valley Care Centre says loneliness is a big issue

Cairns was a registered nurse and a civilian police officer in Vancouver, her daughter-in-law wrote. She spent 25 years at the police station near Main and Hastings streets, working as a guard and a nurse to women who were incarcerated.

Coronavirus outbreak: B.C. announces nine new cases, says most related to a North Vancouver care home
Coronavirus outbreak: B.C. announces nine new cases, says most related to a North Vancouver care home

“It must have taken a very strong will to do the kind of job that she had to do,” Coueffin-Cairns wrote.

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She said her mother-in-law was initially hesitant to enter a care home, but eventually learned to make the most of it.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: B.C. announces 40 new cases, 1 new death

“The nurses told us how she had a smile for them every morning when they woke her up, and a smile every night when they put her to bed.”

Nursing home residents share messages with their loved ones through social media.
Nursing home residents share messages with their loved ones through social media.

Coueffin-Cairns closed her note with a fond memory of the time she sneaked a rum and eggnog to her mother-in-law while she was in hospital at Christmas in 2011.

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“I think I may have gotten in her good books after that,” she wrote.

Seven of the eight COVID-19 deaths in B.C. have been linked to the Lynn Valley Care Centre.