Cowichan Valley health professionals wonderful in crisis

I had my friend on my landline and called 811 on my cell phone.

Cowichan Valley health professionals wonderful in crisis

An experience with a friend yesterday provided a personal introduction to an 811 nurse, three Cowichan Valley paramedics and our local Emergency health care workers at Cowichan District Hospital. It was all good!

My friend woke with tightness in her chest, across her arms, feeling “unwell”, balance issues, nausea, extremely high blood pressure and hand tremors. I wanted her to go to the hospital but she said she was “fine.” She didn’t want me to call 911 but finally agreed that I could phone 811 (nurses hotline).

I had my friend on my landline and called 811 on my cell phone. While the wait was longer than anticipated, the nurse was gentle, respectful, professional, and asked my friend pointed questions. She wanted my friend to agree to let me call 911 (and advised her not go to hospital by car or even go downstairs to wait for the ambulance), but my friend disagreed. I asked the nurse to please repeat what she had just said and the nurse spoke quietly but directly again. My friend agreed.

It was a strange experience — holding two phones, but it worked!

I hung up, drove to my friend’s home, opened it for the paramedics, told my friend that I was in the house as she waited upstairs in her favourite chair. The three paramedics were wonderful! Fully masked, they spoke directly to my friend — crouching down so they were eyeball to eyeball as she was in her chair. Soft spoken, reassuring, calm while doing the testing they needed to do, it was clear they were not only professional but compassionate. Once they gently got her on the stretcher, off they went to the hospital.

My friend is now back in her home, with gratitude for being so well-cared for in Emerg and on the ride to the hospital. She said she felt extremely well cared for — and safe.

In the midst of this pandemic, a senior who was beyond-stressed, unwell and frightened, experienced Cowichan Valley health care providers who each had “a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

That’s the definition of greatness, according to Martin Luther King Jr.

On this day that our American neighbours are marking Martin Luther King day, when so many are deeply concerned about Wednesday’s inauguration of the next president/VP of the U.S., the increased COVID-19 numbers and fewer available vaccines than predicted are available, it is good to know that here in the Cowichan Valley, there are people serving, selflessly, because they have “a heart full of grace…a soul generated by love.”

Thank you front line workers whoever you are and however you serve. You are models of greatness. “Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”— Martin Luther King Jr.

June Maffin



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vandals damaged a picnic table at Spectacle Lake Park with a chainsaw earlier this month. (Linda Mills photo)
Editorial: Vandals make victims of us all

It is infuriating when people target public property for vandalism.

Vees' Jack Barnes picked up his second goal of the season in the team's 5-0 win over Merritt on Saturday. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Cowichan Capitals in deadline dilemma with 20-year-old players

Hard decisions loom when BCHL may or may not resume play

The latest homeless count in the Valley found 129 in a 24-hour period. (File photo)
Latest homeless count reveals 129 in the Cowichan Valley

But local officials believe number is higher

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

The Port of Nanaimo has signed a 50-year-agreement with DP World around short-sea shipping operations at Duke Point Terminal. (News Bulletin file photo)
Lease ‘important first step’ in $105-million Nanaimo port expansion project

Port of Nanaimo and DP World sign 50-year shipping operations agreement for Duke Point

A BC Ferries worker out of Swartz Bay has tested positive for COVID-19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Swartz Bay ferry worker confirmed to have COVID-19

Employees in direct contact with worker now isolating

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

Most Read