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.

 

Just Posted

Staff recommends awarding contract for RC Cotton pedestrian bridge

City council will discuss the $623,595 tender at the regular meeting Tuesday, June 26 and possibly pursuing other grants

Tsilhqot’in Nation urges Taseko Mines to stop drilling plans before conflict grows

Nation said Teztan Biny area is of ‘profound cultural and spiritual importance’

Signage up for new cannabis shop, licence yet to be approved

Pacificanna owner said he is still waiting for licence, but opened his Port Hardy shop June 21

City of Williams Lake dismantles homeless camp in River Valley

Williams Lake Fire Dept. responded to a fire at the site the day before

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

Thieves steal two $40K chairs featuring gold serpents from B.C. furniture store

Chairs believed to be the only two of its kind in Canada, police said

Rising gas prices force B.C. residents to rethink summer road trips: poll

63 per cent of respondents reported gas prices are impacting their day-to-day finances

Most Read