On Canada’s National Day of Mourning 🇨🇦 fifty fallen camellia petals to honor and remember the fifty health care heroes who have died from COVID-19 this past year one of whom was Diana Law, a wonderful caring and dedicated nurse from Peace Arch Hospital, a daughter, wife, mother and sister. She is the first nurse in British Columbia to die from COVID-19 and the second in Canada. Today’s post is dedicated to her memory and to the memory of all of the heroes whose families are mourning today, as we also take this opportunity to say thank you to all of our frontline heroes who continue to be there for us every single day.
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:
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.
A salute to the hero firefighters on the frontline.
The letters for this quote from Virgil displayed in the Memorial Hall of the September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York were forged from remnant World Trade Center steel by blacksmith Tom Joyce.
Seeing the crushed remains of Ladder 3 on our moving visit to the museum in 2015 the sacrifice and bravery of those 343 firefighters of the New York City Fire Department who were lost that day together with an additional 68 emergency workers and the 2566 innocent lives they were trying to save has been a lasting memory.
On this 19th anniversary of that terrible day as we remember them all together with those lost at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, we now have too many other lives to remember and mourn, and for whom those words of Virgil could also have been written.
Six months ago today on March 11th The Director General of the WHO declared that, “COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.” On that day there were more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, and 4,291 people who had lost their lives. Today, September 11th 2020, there are 28,412,026 reported cases and 915,088 deaths worldwide.
The First Responder Heroes of 9/11 and those heroes on United Flight 93, together with the Frontline Heroes and Healthcare Workers of today who have also lost and continue to lose their lives saving their fellow citizens are all in our thoughts on this solemn day.
Last night’s sunset in Vancouver was a winner.
Happy Labor Day, especially to our Frontline Heroes
An end of summer bouquet from the garden for the first of the month,
with gratitude as always to our frontline heroes.
On this Canada Day we remember Abbigail Cowbrough and her five co-members of the Canadian Armed Forces who went down with their helicopter off the coast of Greece in April.
We also remember Emily Tuck
murdered with so many others on that fateful day in Nova Scotia.
And of course we remember all those whose lives have been taken from us by Covid19 since the beginning of the pandemic.
But as we mourn them all this Canada Day we also say thank you, as we do every day, to all of our frontline heroes who have been there for us since the beginning. It is a Happy Canada Day for so many thanks to each and every one of them.
As National Nurses Week begins a chance to say thank you to a lifetime of nursing colleagues and dear friends. They are all amazing and those on the frontline everyday are true modern day superheroes.