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New staff lounge to honour innocent B.C. nurse killed in Metro Vancouver gang conflict

Click to play video: 'Anonymous donor provides legacy for shooting victim Paul Bennett' Anonymous donor provides legacy for shooting victim Paul Bennett
WATCH: The innocent victim of a Surrey gangland shooting now has a special legacy, thanks to a generous donation from an unnamed benefactor. – Aug 4, 2021

A B.C. man who was the innocent victim of a gangland shooting three years ago is being honoured at the hospital where he worked, thanks to an anonymous donation.

Paul Bennett worked as an operating room nurse at White Rock’s Peace Arch Hospital, before he was fatally shot in his Cloverdale driveway in June 2018.

Read more: On 3rd anniversary, murder of Surrey dad Paul Bennett remains unsolved but not forgotten

Police say his murder was a case of mistaken identity.

Click to play video: 'B.C. dad remembered three years after Cloverdale driveway murder' B.C. dad remembered three years after Cloverdale driveway murder
B.C. dad remembered three years after Cloverdale driveway murder – Jun 23, 2021

Now, thanks to a quarter-million dollar donation from a former patient, the hospital is adding a new staff lounge that will bear his name as a part of a major expansion.

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“(I’m) overwhelmed that someone would think so much of Paul, and have such gratitude that they would do such a wonderful thing,” Bennett’s widow Darlene said.

“I know he loved working here at Peace Arch, it was his other home.”

Making the donation even more special is the way it came about.

Click to play video: 'Widow of beloved Surrey hockey coach still seeking answers in his murder' Widow of beloved Surrey hockey coach still seeking answers in his murder
Widow of beloved Surrey hockey coach still seeking answers in his murder – Jun 21, 2019

Stephanie Beck, executive director of the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation, said the anonymous donor was a former patient of Bennett’s during a medical procedure several years ago.

Over the course of his stay and other visits to the hospital, he and Bennett formed a connection, she said.

“That often happens in a community setting like this where we have a lot of wonderful staff who’ve been with us for a number of years, and you really get to know them,” she said.

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“I think the tragedy that befell the Bennett family really touched this particular donor, and they wanted to make a tribute in their own way to honour Paul’s memory going forward.”

Read more: Hockey coach and father gunned down in Surrey was not intended target: police

The new lounge is being added as a part of an expansion including a redeveloped emergency room, expanded surgical suites and new medical device reprocessing unit, Beck said.

The staff lounge, which will include a private washroom, kitchenette and seating area will be a major improvement on the current facility, she said.

The upgrades are slated to be in service by November.

“I am eternally grateful. My kids will see the legacy of their dad carry on,” Darlene said.

“I tear up every time I think of it. I wish he was here, but this is a wonderful gift. A memory.”

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