Four special moments from the Pacific Spirit Park, Vancouver today on our National Physicians Day here in Canada, a day for me to say thank you to all of my amazing colleagues who have worked so hard this past difficult year together with all of our frontline heroes. I am in awe of them all.
I was honored to join my General Surgery colleagues virtually this morning after the recent installation of my charcoal/pencil drawing “The Meeting Point” in the ICU at Vancouver General Hospital. It was also an opportunity to recognize and congratulate the unit’s ECMO team on their recently receiving B.C. Health Care’s Gold Apple Award for their collaborate approach to life-saving patient care.
The drawing was made one year ago to thank our frontline healthcare workers and was donated to the Hospital Foundation. Here is the description that accompanies the piece:
When the Science of Medicine meets the Art of Medicine to save lives in the COVID unit at Vancouver General Hospital. I would like to suggest that ECMO, which stands for Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, could also stand for Ever Compassionate Medical Optimism, thanks to the dedication and bravery of our frontline healthcare workers epitomized by the caring nurse-specialist portrayed in my drawing.
With my gratitude to Katharine Knowles and the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation for accepting my gift and for so thoughtfully hanging it in the Unit, and to Dr Adam Thomas for his photograph which was the inspiration for my drawing.
Enjoy BC Health Care Awards presentation of the inspiring work of the VGH ECMO Unit:
Remembering the late and great Douglas Campbell on this World Theatre Day as we look forward to the return of live theatre everywhere and especially our beloved @bardonthebeach here in Vancouver. You have all been sorely missed.
All the world has been a stage this past year and all humanity merely players with far too many sad and lonely exits and far too few comforting and loving entrances. Let’s hope in the coming year we can all soon be with the ones we love once again. It’s been too long.
Happy World Theatre Day to my theatre friends everywhere. ❤️
On September 22nd last year I posted the centre part of this image on the day that 200,000 American lives were reported to have been so tragically lost to the ravages of COVID-19. Today, one year since the beginning of the pandemic we learn that the number has now reached 511,133. In Brazil it is 246,560; in India 156,418; in the UK 120,580; here in Canada 21,715; and worldwide the number is 2.47 million.
Each one of those lives lost, both young and old, leaves families and friends in mourning; today we mourn with them too. We also think about all of our healthcare and frontline heroes who cared for them all, often the last ones to be by their sides as they took their last breaths. Today is a day once again to say thank you to each and every one of them, for they too are also always in our thoughts.
In a memorial ceremony tonight at the White House President Biden spoke so movingly to the nation, but his words I felt were also to a grieving world:
“While we have been fighting this pandemic for so long we have to resist becoming numb to the sorrow. We have to resist viewing each life as a statistic or blur. We must do so to honor the dead but equally important to care for the living, those loved ones left behind.”
How fortunate we are to have President Biden in the White House at this moment in history.
Today I received my mask from Physicians for Human Rights, which I will now wear whenever I am out to honour my dear colleagues and all of our Health Care Heroes, and as always I thank them all. Although to say thank you never seems quite enough it comes from the heart.
On March 19th last year inspired by my dear blogging friend Kelly who started a Daily Dose of Beauty on her wonderful CompassAndCamera blog to help us “feel and understand our shared humanity” as the days of isolation were just beginning, I joined her in committing to posting every day during the pandemic never thinking that it would continue to the end of the year and beyond.
Both Kelly and I have indeed now posted every day since last March and through her wonderful CompassionAndCamera we have all had the pleasure of seeing the beauty of the world through her lens and learnt so much from her brilliantly descriptive travel writing all from the comfort of our self-isolated armchairs at home. So as we begin this New Year I would like to pay tribute to Kelly and thank her for inspiring us each and every day. Thank you Kelly from all of us in your loyal fan club.
Now as for today, on this first day of the New Year, this will be the last of my daily posts. Rest assured however I am not going anywhere and the posts will continue on The Changing Palette, but perhaps at a little less frequency. I thought about what today should be about and decided that as we seem to have come full circle with lock downs and self-isolation returning everywhere I would revisit the second of my daily posts from last March, which was really meant for the children as a way of talking to them about locking down and staying home and not visiting friends. If Pooh and Piglet can do it, so can we all.
For children everywhere.
And they did indeed FaceTime with Eeyore who couldn’t have been happier to see them.
Happy New Year everyone. Stay safe and well in 2021 and just like Pooh and Piglet take care of each other, check in on loved ones and friends, and thank the heroes around you, as I try to do as often as I can, who are working so hard every day for us all until we get to reach that light at the end of the tunnel. It’s getting closer.💕
In Memoriam – Let these few images of remembrances from this past year represent all those who are sadly no longer with us. Today, the heartbreaking number of total coronavirus deaths posted worldwide stands at 1,807,472, a number that is hard to comprehend. The journey we are all on together still has a long way to go, as we say thank you to the heroes amongst us once again.
No surprise that the Pacific Spirit Park should feature in my 2020 look back. This Vancouver jewel has been a sanctuary for us since the beginning of Covid-19. Walking its trails surrounded by these majestic trees has sustained and uplifted us every day as we experienced the seasons changing month by month, the colours of the leaves so often luminescent in the sunshine beneath a blue, blue sky. We have never taken for granted how fortunate we are. Hopefully you have enjoyed visiting with us too.
Not long after the pandemic started to ravage the world images and stories began to appear in the media and the press of patients on ventilators and health care heroes in PPE. Two such moments led to these two drawings together with their accompanying descriptions:
April 28th – Drawing in the studio today allowed me to spend a few hours in quet reflection on this National Day Of Mourning, a day that perhaps has never been more meaningful, as we remember and honor those who have lost their lives or been injured from their time in the workplace.
I would particularly like to honor the memory of Dr. Lorna Breen, a New York City emergency room doctor, a true hero, and send heartfelt condolences to her family, colleagues and friends.
The drawing was inspired by a photograph taken by Marco Bertorello in the Covid-19 ward of Maria Pia Hospital in Turin.
May 3rd – When the Science of Medicine meets the Art of Medicine to save lives in the COVID unit at Vancouver General Hospital.
ECMO stands for Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation but could also stand for Ever Compassionate Medical Optimism, thanks to the dedication of our frontline healthcare workers epitomized by the caring nurse-specialist portrayed in the picture.