For the last two decades, the Côte Saint-Luc emergency medical services (EMS) building was something of a second home to Clifford Jordan.
A volunteer paramedic and a public security officer in Montreal West, he’s helped countless people and families in the community.
And so when his colleagues and friends heard he collapsed on Jan. 13 while away in Barbados, they were shocked and heartbroken.
“What we know is he’s had symptoms similar to a flesh-eating disease, but we don’t know for sure what the problem is — there’s still no specific diagnosis,” said Eddy Afram, chief of Côte Saint-Luc’s EMS.
“He is on life support, he is on a ventilator, incubated in the intensive care unit and had to have a leg amputated.”
Feeling helpless being so far away and not knowing if the 49-year-old has medical insurance, Afram launched a GoFundMe campaign.
As of Tuesday afternoon, just over $36,000 had been donated, with funds still flooding in.
Afram says the money can be used for whatever he and his family may need, whether it be medical bills or adapting Jordan’s home, when he returns.
“We have a saying in our field which is to care for our own, so it was just a normal thing to do,” he said. “It wasn’t something that we discussed, analyzed and studied, it was just a spontaneous reaction.”
Côte Saint-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein says Jordan is a “hero” in the community.
“We’re very lucky to have emergency medical services and to have volunteers doing this, and someone like Clifford, who has devoted 20 years to the service, is amazing,” said Brownstein.
“Now it’s our turn to give something back to him.”
Jordan’s wife and son are by his side in Barbados and are in contact with Afram and the team, giving them updates.
He says there’s still no word on if or when Jordan will be flown back home, but says they’ll be waiting for him when he does.