Photo: Renaud Philippe The Duty
At the initiative of the union of the CIUSSS of the North-of-the-Island-of-Montreal-a vigil in memory of the deceased was held Friday at the foot of the Jean-Talon hospital.
Fighting for his life from one month to the intensive care unit of the CHUM, a care attendant for a period of forty years died Thursday as a result of the COVID-19. His death reminds us of the heavy price paid by the employees of the health care network and their families since the beginning of the pandemic.
“I don’t know when will end this roller coaster of emotions “, breath Camtu Ho, a link nurse still shaken by the death of his former colleague, Thong Nguyen. The attendant, 48-year-old had 17 years of experience at the Jean-Talon hospital in Montreal, where he worked all night in the emergency room and the intensive care unit.
At the front since the beginning of the health crisis, Mr Nguyen has been declared positive, the COVID-19 the 1st of may. In isolation in his home, he quickly developed serious complications of the disease. He was transferred may 12 to the intensive care unit of the Centre hospitalier de l’université de Montréal (CHUM), where he died Thursday morning, leaving in mourning his wife and their two children.
The CIUSSS of the North-of-the-Island-of-Montreal (NIM) is unaware of how it has been contaminated. For them it is a second attendant infected to fall in battle, after the death on April 29 of Marina Thenor-Louis, who worked for 12 years at the CHSLD Cartierville. Province-wide, the virus has claimed the lives of at least eight orderlies.
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A good father of a family
Camtu Ho has learned the sad news of a colleague on Friday morning, coming from just arrived at work. She received it as a blow. “I cried, I had a hard time at work “, ” sliding-t-it, the eyes filled behind his sunglasses. “It shocked me. “
“I knew him because he was vietnamese, like me. I met him there more than ten years, when he started working at the hospital, ” remembers the nurse.
“I met often in the streets when he got home. We talked of family, our children grow, our projects…, ” she said before pausing briefly, moved. “He was a good father, he took care very well of his family. “.
A vigil in memory of the deceased was held Friday at the foot of the Jean-Talon hospital. The initiative came from the union of workers of the CIUSSS of the NIM, which also laid a wreath of flowers near an entrance of the building.
A little behind on the sidewalk, a woman in a uniform pale green looked at the crown, thoughtfully. “Before they would test everyone, and he learned that he had caught the COVID-19, I remember he was crying because he didn’t want to have. He wanted to protect his family, ” said this employee of the hospital who preferred to conceal his identity. It keeps in memory the memory of a man dedicated, ” hard-working “.
On the stroke of noon, a few dozen people gathered in front of the wreath, observing a minute of silence. Colleagues for the most part, having spent near or far, the clerk disappeared.
“I met in the locker room, in the basement. We joked together, ” says Nancy Zephirin, clerk to the recipients to the cardiology unit. “Our work is very physical and very stressful. But some of our comrades to help us get through our days. This was the case with him, it was a very cheerful “, she adds.
“Thong was an extraordinary man,” says Melanie Chartrand. She and her husband made the trip to attend the vigil Friday, holding on to lay a bouquet of flowers at the foot of the crown.
Ms. Chartrand, patient care attendant at Jean-Talon until 2016, has been very close to Mr. Nguyen. He showed him the tricks of the trade when she was hired in 2009, fresh out of school. They then worked together in the emergency room, at night, between 2014 and 2015.
“It was someone in shape, which was martial arts. He ate well and slept well, ” she said, struggling still to believe that the virus was able to crush him. In his eyes, one thing is for sure : his ex-colleague, ” an attendant experienced “, does not skimp on the measures to take to protect themselves and the patients. “I am certain that it is a misfortune,” says she.
“He was always smiling, really nice and friendly, both with ourselves and with patients. It was such a nice guy “, looking back on it Dr. Myra Lemelin, a doctor at the emergency of Jean-Talon. It is unknown how he became infected with the virus, but it had su “between the branches” that his state of health had deteriorated, anticipating a tragic ending. “You always hope for a miracle “, she says.
Dr. Lemelin indicates that the death of his ex-colleague, has revived the concern of staff in his department. The lack of protective equipment is a source of anxiety ? “There is no shortage,” she says. The employees use the equipment once it is disinfected, and also use masks of construction, illustrates the doctor. The plexiglas panels have also been installed.
“But what we lack a lot, and it is said for a long time, it is so-called companions :people who are watching us put on and especially remove the equipment. It is often when it out that one is infected, ” she explains. We know that they are working on it, but there is a lack of people anywhere in the network. “