Nurse practitioner Patrice Gordon (left) learns full garb procedure during Ebola training in Madrid

Nurse practitioner Patrice Gordon (left) learns full garb procedure during Ebola training in Madrid

Chilcotin nurse tackling Ebola

A nurse practitioner normally stationed in the West Chilcotin is witnessing first-hand the devastating effects of the Ebola virus.

While many people in this part of the world are caught up in the hustle and bustle of preparing for Christmas a nurse practitioner normally stationed in the West Chilcotin is witnessing first-hand the devastating effects of the Ebola virus.

Patrice Gordon, who has nursed in the Chilcotin for nine years, left Canada on Nov. 26 to work at the Canadian Red Cross Ebola treatment centre in Sierra Leone, West Africa.

With permission from Gordon, Interior Health has posted two dispatches with photographs from her on its Facebook page.

In her Dec. 4 post Gordon described a young boy who has lost his father (four days ago) and sister (just last night) to Ebola.

“His mother is in the Kenema ETC (Ebola Treatment Centre) too,” Gordon wrote. “She is also infected and too ill to care for him. The little boy needs such close care – really he needs someone next to him every minute to give him sips of fluids, keep him from pulling out his IV line, give him medications, keep him clean and as fresh as possible.”

But workers aren’t allowed to touch the patients as Gordon learned in Madrid, Spain where she attended Ebola training before travelling on to Africa.

In her Dec. 1 post Gordon described the training as “intense and sobering” but reassuring because of its “thoroughness.”

“One of the things that I anticipate finding difficult is the “no-touch” nature of the mission,” she wrote. “For obvious reasons, we can’t use touch as a means to give comfort to our patients, but we also can’t comfort our colleagues with a hug.

“When I reflect on the almost nil survival rate of children under the age of five who become infected with Ebola and then consider the natural impulse to comfort family and colleagues through touch … well, I can imagine that being very challenging.”

Gordon writes of having the “odd moment” of wondering what she’s doing there when she could be home hiking in the snow, but said those moments are fleeting.

“I do know why I’m doing it. It’s important to sometimes make those moves towards something that I can imagine might make the world a bit of a better place – even though it doesn’t always feel comfortable or familiar and is sometimes a bit scary even. But generally, I’m fully positive about it and keen to just get there and jump in.”

Gordon has worked for Interior Health since 2003. Prior to taking the NP posting in the West Chilcotin almost a year ago, she worked for eight years as the community outreach nurse at Alexis Creek.

“She loves it out there and the people really love her too,” said NP Sandi Lachapelle who was the nurse practitioner serving the West Chilcotin before Gordon.

IH communications officer Susan Duncan has been posting Gordon’s posts verbatim and said Gordon was very willing to share the information.

“It’s really gripping reading and fascinating information,” she said, adding when Gordon returns to Canada she will have to go into self-quarantine.

To follow Gordon’s posts go to Interior Health on Facebook.

 

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

Just Posted

The Yunesit'in Government in partnership with the BC Wildfire Service will be conducting a prescribed burn seven kilometres west of the community and 25 kilometres south of Alexis Creek on the south side of the Chilcotin River. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Prescribed burning planned to reduce wildfire risk near Yunesit’in

Burning may begin as early as April 13 in partnership with BC Wildfire Service

An aerial view of the Williams Lake Stockyards taken during a flyover in 2020. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake Bull Show and Sale in its 84th year

This year’s sale will be online and in person

B.C. Cattlemen’s Association general manager Kevin Boon. (B.C. Cattlemen’s Association photo)
COVID, BSE, water access and private land rights: B.C. Cattlemen’s general manager weighs in

Kevin Boon said positive aspect of pandemic is more people interested in where their food comes from

Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society communications officer Brianna van de Wijngaard reflects on World Water Day March 22. (Photo submitted)
DOWN TO EARTH: World Water Day means something different for everyone

This year’s World Water Day theme was Valuing Water

Williams Lake Cycling Club president Shawn Lewis (from left), Jeremy Stoward of New Path Forestry, WLCC Boitanio Bike Park director Andrew Hutchinson accept a cheque from Williams Lake and District Credit Union investment specialist Abigail King. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake Cycling Club gets bike park donation to bolster upgrades, maintenance

Plans are to complete three rideable lines each year, he added

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)
Tenants disappear in the night leaving Okanagan home trashed with junk, feces

Spallumcheen rental rooms filled with junk, human and animal feces; landlord scared to rent again

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year

Most Read