Rossland’s Patrice Gordon is finally home from over two months of training

Media craze follows Rossland nurse home from Africa

There wasn’t much fanfare when Patrice Gordon boarded a plane for Africa last month

Sheri Regnier

 

West Kootenay Advertiser

 

With files from Liz Bevan

There wasn’t much fanfare when Patrice Gordon boarded a plane for Africa last month – but there sure was a national hullabaloo when she returned home.

That’s because for four weeks, the Rossland native had worked the front lines of the deadly Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa.

Upon her return to Canada, the nurse practitioner developed flu-like symptoms, with fever and achy muscles, while she was staying in Kelowna over the holidays.

Gordon’s subsequent admission to the Kelowna General Hospital sparked a media frenzy across the country, forever linking her name to the contagious disease.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I was shielded by a lot of it by a media person for the Red Cross. She was fabulous, and told me I didn’t have to talk to anyone, but I wanted to talk to people.”

The story has since quietened and has a happy ending, because after being tested for Ebola three times over 21 days, all tests were negative and she is back in the comfort of her Chilcotin home.

And even though she is a long way from Sierra Leone, her mind remains with those at the treatment centre.

“I am all the way over here in Canada, but I feel so close to those people and feel their pain,” she told Trail Times reporter Liz Bevan, on Jan. 19.

The message she wants to get to the media is how relatable the victims of Ebola are to Canadians at home.

“I wanted to be able to put some faces on the story instead of talking about a virus on the other side of the planet,” she said. “I want people to understand that these are happy little children being stricken. There is the 22-year-old university student or the 18-year old who is working with his father fixing shoes – they are dying.”

Just before speaking with Bevan, Gordon had received news that the disease had also killed one of the health care providers she had worked with in Kenema district of Sierra Leone.

“He was the first Red Cross person that has been affected since the mission started in April 2014,” she explained. “I am just stunned. It is like one big family there. I am just waiting to hear more and send my deep sadness and love over to them. He committed the last four months of his life to working six days a week looking after his fellow countrymen and now he has died.”

There is still suffering going on in the Ebola-stricken country, but for Gordon, it is time to heal herself after the emotional roller coast of the last few months.

“I know that I haven’t processed it year,” she said. “But, I came home to my partner and two furry, warm puppies that are happy to see me and that has been the greatest therapy a person can have.”

 

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, about 22,000 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have been infected with Ebola, leading to more than 8,600 deaths.

 

 

Just Posted

Slocan Valley to be ‘lit up’ with high-speed internet in 12 months

125 kilometres of fibre-optic cable to be laid from Nakusp to Playmore Junction

Vigil re-affirms belief in peace, acceptance in wake of New Zealand massacre

Nearly 100 show up for solemn event at Mir Centre for Peace

Police bust drug operation in Castlegar

Man charged, will go to court in August

Zoning mix-up nixes Shoreacres property sale

Man says the RDCK’s listings online don’t match his property’s official zoning

Castlegar coach receives Basketball BC honour

Cheryl Closkey recognized for 50 years of volunteering

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

Most Read