Throughout the province, health-care workers are making countless sacrifices every day as they battle the COVID-19 pandemic to help treat patients while keeping their own families safe.
Global News wants to thank B.C.’s health-care heroes for their all hard work.
Do you know a B.C. health-care hero? We want to honour them for their efforts fighting COVID-19. Send us a picture and a few details to email@example.com or tag us on social media and use the hashtag #bchealthcareheroes.
Katie McAllister is an registered nurse at Nanaimo Regional Genera Hospital.
Since mid-March, her floor of the hospital has been assigned to take all stable undiagnosed respiratory patients.
Her family says every time a patient’s COVID-19 test comes back negative in her unit, “there have been high fives and big sighs.”
While that might be stressful enough, McAllister had to postpone her wedding, which was scheduled for April, due to the pandemic. What’s more, she also had a surgery in March postponed.
Thank you Katie!
Dr. Glenn DongDr. Glenn Dong was nominated by a nurse at Richmond Hospital. Dong is an anesthesiologist there and has been on the front lines since the pandemic began.He has been living out of a hotel for two months to ensure his family does not get sick.Dong is also high-risk if he were to contract COVID-19 because he has asthma and yet he is dedicated to helping those in need, persevering and intubating to this day – without fear.
5 nurses in one familyKelli May wants to recognize the five amazing nurses in her family.Her two daughters, Erin and Meghan May, her two nieces, Reanne Laurie and Ashley McKen and sister-in-law Diana Ferguson.Erin has worked on the medical floor in East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook since 2015.Meghan has been a nurser for four years and is now working the medical floor at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.Reanne has been a nurse for five years. The last four as a maternity nurse at Kootenay Lake Hospital in Nelson.Ashley is currently working as a perioperative nurse in the operating room at East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook.Diana, while retired from her nursing career, has returned to work in a casual role to help where she can during the pandemic.
Elaine Hamilton, nurseElaine Hamilton, a nurse of eight years, works in the acute care ward at the Langley Memorial Hospital.Her sister Karen says she changed careers in her mid 40s after working as a full-time travel agent but wanted to follow her dream.With no previous courses under her belt and a full time job commitment, she started the long journey to fulfill that dream, taking weekend and night classes until she graduated all while raising two four kids.Elaine was exposed first hand to a COVID-19 patient early on in the pandemic and, after testing negative and clearing her required quarantine period, she has been back at work and eager to help where needed.Her sister says she has faced this pandemic like so many other challenges in her life: by rolling up her sleeves and doing what’s needed to see the job through.Thank you Elaine!
Kate Tate, care home directorKate Tate got the news on Apr. 25 that an older adult living at Tabor Village, the care home where she is director of care services had tested positive for COVID-19.She gave her husband a hug and kiss, not knowing when she’d see him again — it would be two weeks before they would be in the same room together.That morning she drove to the care home where residence and Fraser Health staff implemented the pandemic plan she’d developed with Tabor Village.She moved into a local hotel to stay physically distant from her family and ensure the infection was contained.Colleagues attribute her leadership to quickly containing the outbreak, and say she lovingly ensure that both the seniors living at the care home were kept safe and healthy and equally ensured the staff providing care had all the supports they needed to be protected and to stay well.Thank you Kate!
Joy Huddleston, nurseJoy Huddleston works at the Shorncliffe Long-Term Care facility in Sechelt, where she’s been described by the family of one patient with dementia as “an Angel.”“She believes in her oath as a medical professional and has compassion like non other,” writes Becky Lohn.Lohn says Huddleston has been instrumental in keeping her mother company through her confusion and helps take her mind off her loneliness by sharing her past and going through old photo albums.She also helps set up Skype meetings with patients families and sends them photos to help with the isolation.Even when she’s off-shift, she’s helping — Huddleston has been collecting cotton sheets to make face masks.Thank you Joy!
Microbiology and Virology Lab at St. Paul’s HospitalFriday’s health-care heroes are a group, nominated by St. Paul’s Hospital Microbiology and Virology Lab team lead Willson Jang.He says his team has been top notch during the pandemic. Rising to the challenge, adjusting their schedules as needed to meet the laboratory testing needs of the Lower Mainland, and expanding hours of operation from 10 hours to 15 hours a day, seven days a week.Over the last two months, the lab team has conducted more than 13,000 COVID-19 tests, identifying more than 500 positive cases.As of last week, the lab now has the highest testing capacity for COVID-19 in the province, testing more than 2,000 samples a day.Jang says his team has been exemplary, diligently doing the “behind the scenes work” with a get-it-done attitude.So we thank the entire microbiology and virology lab team at St. Paul’s hospital for what you are doing on the front lines during this challenging time.
Tracey Jonker, NurseTracey Jonker is a nurse in the University Hospital of Northern B.C.’s family medicine unit, which has been converted to a COVID-19 unit.She’s also a mentor known for supporting younger nurses, and active as a steward with the BC Nurses’ Union advocating for her colleagues.Jonker has been in self-isolation to protect friends and family, but has still made time to visit her friends from her vehicle and even drop off gifts.Recently Tracey organized nurses on her ward to give back to the community for the love and support they have been shown. They donated $1,200 from their small ward to the Food bank in Prince George, to give back to the community.
Adriana DiPoce, registered nurseAdriana is a 31-year-old registered nurse who works in Surrey memorial hospital ICU. She spends her days clad in protective gear and does it tirelessly.Her sister Melissa says Adriana has been working “serious overtime,” and is “100 per cent committed to taking care of her patients, friends and family.”“She has been a nurse for almost seven years and has become a real pro. She trains practicum students, comforts families of sick and dying patients, and takes care of People every day while we go about our regular lives,” wrote Melissa.“I miss my sister. Everyone misses her. I have not seen her since the 11th of March. My five-year-old daughter misses her zia (aunt) and talks about her all the time and how she’s so brave and is saving people from ‘the virus.'”When COVID-19 began, Adriana started self-isolating from her family and friends as she was worried she could be a carrier get them sick.Melissa says her sister doesn’t go anywhere other than work or home, as she works to keep her friends, family and community safe.“This is a big commitment for my usually very social sister. Her sacrifice is keeping people safe and I am so proud of her.”
Dr. Greg Thomas-Reilly
The Medical Device Reprocessing Department [MDRD] technicians at St Paul’s Hospital.
These dedicated group of people come to work everyday to ensure the medical and nursing professionals working on the coalface (front lines) have the supplies cleaned and sterilized to carry out their work.
They have accepted all the challenges COVID-19 has presented and have been innovative in developing practices, policies and procedures that will keep them and their medical and nursing colleagues safe.
St. Paul’s Hospital says they are mothers, fathers, sons and daughters and many have family members who are working in health-care.
They take pride in the work they do, & as their Clinical Nurse Educator I am privileged to work with this group of healthcare workers.
Ava is an experienced RN and the executive director at George Derby Centre, a long-term care facility in Burnaby. She comes to work early every day to ensure staff are free of COVID-19 symptoms, taking the temperatures of everyone who comes to work and hands out masks.
Her co-workers say Ava has been doing this since the start of Dr. Bonnie Henry’s directives on long-term care homes.
Lisa is an ICU nurse at Vancouver General Hospital. Her colleagues say she treats every patient with kindness and respect.
They submitted a photo of Lisa that shows the lines on her face from wearing a PPE mask and goggles during a long shift.
Like a lot of other B.C. couples, Lisa and her fiance Daryl, a police officer with the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team, have had to postpone their June wedding.
Frankie is a licensed practical nurse who works in the emergency department at Abbotsford Regional Hospital.
She also works in the mobile medical unit that was recently set up to help treat the novel coronavirus outbreak among inmates at Mission Institution.
Frankie is also an amazing mother to her son Dane and daughter Riesling. Her partner Graham is a self-proclaimed germaphobe and helps keep everything at home sanitized.
Michelle is a registered nurse in Maple Ridge and works as a home care nurse.
She retired two years ago but came out of retirement to help.
Her daughter says not only has she been working almost every day since the middle of March, including working overtime at the COVID-19 testing clinic at Ridge Meadows Hospital, swabbing other health-care workers from their cars.
Michelle’s daughter Jennifer says because her work on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic means she is unable to see her new granddaughter, which has probably been the hardest thing on her.
Anthony Viera works as a cleaner at Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital.
Since the outbreak he has been faithfully cleaning the OR and other rooms, some after COVID-19 patients have completed their testing, making them safe and sanitary for patients and staff.
Anthony is on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis and is always happy to do what’s best for the team.
Stuart Myers and Mark Taylor
Eleven-year-old Matthew Myers nominated his dad Stuart Myers and his work partner Mark Taylor.
Stuart and Mark are advanced life support paramedics with BC Emergency Health Services based out of Nanaimo.
Together they have 64 years of combined experience working the front lines.
In 2018, Stuart was also part of a team of B.C. paramedics that won a gold medal representing Canada in an international paramedic competition in the Czech Republic.
Due to the pandemic, Matthew says he’s not able to hug his dad up close and in person. So they have to practise “socially distanced” hugs.
Matthew is asking everyone in B.C. to do their part so he can have real hugs with his dad again soon.
Trevor considers himself a tiny part of the team that has been putting their own health on the line, working long hours, performing tests at the beginning of this crisis and still testing now, while also helping other institutions get testing labs set up.
He is also spending long hours away from family. His wife and two young sons have temporarily moved so he doesn’t have to worry about possibly bringing the virus home to them.
Melissa, a paramedic in Vanderhoof, B.C., made the difficult decision to have her children, Rylee and Ehren, live with other family members until the COVID-19 crisis has passed.
Melissa’s mother says Tasha Leepart says while it’s devastating for her to be away from her children, she knows it’s the right thing to do and goes to work each day with determination, strength, and a sense of humour.
Matt and Mary Wakutz
Matt and Mary Wakutz are both nurses. Matt works in the emergency department at Surrey Memorial Hospital and Mary works at Langley Memorial.
In just over a week they will be travelling with a disaster response team to help with the crisis in northern Italy.
Matt and Mary have also demonstrated their generosity in Uganda where they volunteered with a non-profit to lead a team of nurses.
Chelsea Jewell and Lisa Ehly
Like mother like daughter. Chelsea Jewell is a psychiatric nurse with Correctional Services Canada and mother Lisa Ehly works at Surrey Memorial Hospital.
Both are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic and pick up extra shifts wherever they can to help cover gaps in staffing.
Carmen, a registered nurse at Vernon Jubilee Hospital, was nominated by her twin sister Lane. Carmen works as a staff development officer for nursing and student placement. Two days a week she also operates two family planning clinics after working a full shift.
When recently asked to return to front-line nursing, she didn’t hesitate to step up and is now also working full-time as a nurse in the ICU ward.
Matthew was nominated by his family. He’s a respiratory therapist working in intensive care at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster.
Kelowna General Hospital
The team at Kelowna General Hospital recently received a message of love and support from the community.
Lions Gate Hospital emergency unit
The emergency unit at North Vancouver’s Lions Gate Hospital is holding a message of thanks to the public for their 7 p.m. cheers.
Meaghan is a respiratory therapist on the front line of the COVID-19 outbreak.
She also celebrated her birthday on Thursday, so on behalf of Global News, we want to wish her a happy birthday!
Emergency department at Richmond Hospital
The doctors and nurses at the Richmond Hospital emergency department have been working tirelessly during the COVID-19 crisis.
And, as you can see, they are also doing their best to keep their physical distance whenever possible.
Anna Carvalho is an emergency doctor at Vancouver General Hospital and one of thousands of B.C. health-care workers on the front lines against the coronavirus pandemic.
A single mother, she recently made the gut-wrenching choice to leave her twin four-year-old girls Vianna and Annalia in the care of her sister and parents.
With the potential exposure to COVID-19 she faces at work, the risk of passing the disease on to her family was too high.
“They know that mommy is fighting the virus,” Carvalho said. “But, you know, I don’t think they get the grand concept of this.”View link »