Some good news yesterday that four of the children separated from their parents at the US border in 2017, one of whom was only three, will be reunited with their parents this week. Sadly the parents of far too many have yet to be located.
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:
First the good news as reported in a new court filing by Julia Ainsley and Jacob Soboroff, author of “Separated” a book that should be read by all: the parents of 105 of the children separated at the border by the previous criminal administration have been found. Unfortunately, the filing goes on to report that the parents of 506 of the remaining children have yet to be reached; 322 of them are being looked for in their countries of origin; 168 are attempted to being located in the United States; for the remaining 16 there no contact numbers available.
In the words of Winston Churchill, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
P.S. My apologies to those of you looking for my promised story behind the leaf drawings, this has taken on a life of its own and has now become a work in progress. Stay tuned.
Families Belong Together
666+186 Day LIV – Journey’s End.
Thank you to all of you who have joined me over the past few months. Knowing you have been “looking over my shoulder” and sharing my concern for the children has been a great support. Over the next day or two I will be writing the story of my journey, which I will post once it is completed.
I thought I would add today my words from that first day, October 22nd as a reminder of the reason why my journey began:
I have begun this drawing of the 546 leaves I collected today from the Pacific Spirit Park to represent the 546 children separated from their parents. As a parent and grandparent who loves his children and grandchildren so much this is my way of representing the heartbreak and the anguish being felt by so many families suffering in this tragic story of state supported kidnapping of children. As the drawings continue I will post their progress and will be thinking of each child as I draw every one of these fragile leaves.
666+186 Day LIII: the final leaf, the last of the final 9 leaves that end a journey that began on October 22nd last year. I have decided to keep the dates together with the marks from each day that indicate the number of leaves drawn that day, as part of the final piece. Look for the completed work tomorrow. Posting this on Canada’s Family Day is an opportunity to remember the separated children and look forward to the day when those responsible will be held accountable. #families belong together.
666+132…in progress – Day L with 20 new leaves on a day that gives hope to the children separated from their parents at the US border with the signing of an Executive Order by President Biden establishing an interagency task force for their reunification. His strong words today, including “ work to undo the moral and national shame of the previous administration,” are very welcome.