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Kingston woman raises donations to provide personal protective equipment to nurses

Kingston woman raises donations to provide personal protective equipment to nurses
WATCH: A Kingston woman is  raising funds to purchase masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff at the Kingston General Hospital.

A Kingston woman is  raising funds to purchase masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff at the Kingston General Hospital.

Hospitals in Canada are beginning to face a shortage of face masks and other protective gear due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The shortage of PPE has become more concerning to hospital staff as the number of COVID-19 cases rise throughout the world.

Even though the provincial government has assured Canadians that there is not a shortage, they are asking that businesses provide proper medical masks and other supplies if they are able to do so.

READ MORE: 17 total cases of COVID-19 in Kingston region, 3 with no close-contacts, recent travel history

Now, Lynette Johnson, a Kingston woman, is taking matters into her own hands by raising funds to purchase masks and PPE for staff at the Kingston General Hospital — a hospital where she says her mother has worked for several years.

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Johnson has created a GoFundMe page called Help nurses in Kingston purchase PPE.

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“I didn’t choose to become a doctor or a nurse so I can’t help in that way, but I can use technology to help gather resources and reach out to people,” says Johnson.

Coronavirus outbreak: Ontario health minister says province has adequate supply of personal protective equipment
Coronavirus outbreak: Ontario health minister says province has adequate supply of personal protective equipment

Johnson says she plans to use a local supplier to ship masks and face shields to medical staff at KGH.

She says she was inspired to extend a helping hand to not only her mom, but all health care workers currently at risk of contracting the virus. Johnson says she has not been able to see her mother recently due to the risk of spread being too high.

Johnson explained that her mother’s role as a nurse during a pandemic is physically and emotionally overwhelming.

“I’m very concerned about her. It’s hard to not be able to hug her after a 12-hour shift in the ICU…to make her a meal and support her right now.”

Johnson is asking if people who want to donate to do so through her GoFundMePage.  Her goal is to raise $5,000.

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READ MORE: Mask shortage ‘like sending someone to a forest fire with a water pistol’: nurses union

Others helping out in a time of crisis are a group of medical students from Queen’s University who say the need for masks remains high.

Anna Curry, a current medical student at Queen’s, also has a simple way for people to help.

“If you have any supplies or know of anyone who has any supplies, email ppekingston@gmail.com,” says Curry.

Curry told Global News that her group is willing to arrange to pick up donated medical supplies, or if people prefer, they can email her and pick a place to drop the supplies off.

“You’ll be able to drop it off and we make sure that those supplies go to health care professionals in need.”