LETTER: Not all angels are found atop Christmas trees

Hopefully you’ll find space for a Christmas shout-out to an all-too-frequently maligned segment of our society in communities across Canada. I refer to those who work in the health care sector, about whom I have often seen horror stories in the media, and many vociferous complaints on letters pages. Bad news stories abound of patients suffering because of inadequacies of health care systems and providers. Thankfully, my present experience is so completely different from what I’ve repeatedly read about for so many years.

My wife Susan is currently hospitalized and gravely ill; halfway through a six-week course of heavy-duty antibiotics, fighting massive bladder and blood infections that are wreaking havoc on her 81-year-old body and mind. The infections and other factors have caused delirium and have intensified her pre-existing dementia, that was previously a short-term memory issue, but now a completely different degree of confusion. She has undergone a multitude of different tests, with no stone left unturned trying to take care of all of Susan’s needs. There are dire complications that have been discovered, and will be dealt with after this uphill battle, which is the biggest we have faced in nearly a half-century together.

Having spent about eight hours every day in her isolated room for the past three weeks, it has been a bumpy trip on a storm-tossed sea of emotions, but there is no other place in the world I would sooner be. We have been buoyed by the wonderful staff at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital (NRGH), where Susan’s every need is taken care of in such a dedicated and loving way by fantastic teams of doctors, nurses, aids, technicians, therapists, cleaners, cooks, administrators, ambulance crews and many more behind the scenes who we never meet. Susan’s GP has been a tower of strength, too.

Around this time of the year there’s always a lot of talk about angels, some are perched atop Christmas trees, but the ones we’ve encountered during the last three weeks at NRGH come in all shapes and sizes, every creed and race, all generations and genders. Suddenly, all those extra-loud and mealy-mouthed premiers, parliamentarians, prime ministers, presidents, potentates and pontificating professional pundits whom I used to find so interesting with their politics of phoney fear and false hopes, have become entirely insignificant and seem to vanish in the haze. We stand in awe of the love and care and highly professional devotion of the band of angels at NRGH.

Bernie Smith

Parksville

Just Posted

Mediators appointed to help address issues in IHealth review

Review too little, too late for Qualicum Bay patient

Smoking ban arrives on BC Ferries

No crackdown, just education as BC Ferries enacts smoking ban

UPDATE: Whiskey Creek floodwaters subside

Area roads reopened following Sunday morning closure

Parksville water project seeks new manager

City operations manager moves to new job with RDN

SOGI rally disrupts school board meeting, but business carries on

Chilliwack school board makes statement in support of B.C.-wide gender identity teaching resource

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

Team Canada veteran ‘drops in’ on girls lacrosse

Naomi Walser to joine Oceanside Minor Lacrosse session Jan. 23

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

UPDATE: Police continue to seek missing Qualicum Beach woman

Oceanside RCMP requesting public assistance in locating Carmel Georgina Gilmour

Road conditions wreak havoc for Comox Valley drivers

Icy road conditions early Monday morning kept first responders very busy throughout… Continue reading

Brother of B.C. teen killed by stray bullet says the death left a void

Alfred Wong, 15, was gunned down in Vancouver while on his way home from dinner with his family

Most Read