As a nurse by nature, Sanja Goldie feels the need to help others and is doing just that for a friend and co-worker at the COVID-ravaged Roberta Place long-term care home who is fighting for his life after contracting the virus.
Edwin Ng, a 48-year-old personal support worker (PSW), became sick on Saturday, Jan. 16, and is currently in critical condition in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH). The father of three and grandfather of two is on a ventilator.
Goldie, who said she has has worked with Ng at Roberta Place for nearly a decade, told BarrieToday why she organized a GoFundMe page.
“I’ve been nursing for 10 to 15 years in geriatrics and with everyone I’ve ever met, there is something very special about Edwin,” said Goldie, who is a registered practical nurse (RPN). “He is always so happy and so upbeat on the job. He brings everyone up in spirits.”
The GoFundMe page was created one day ago and in that time has raised $19,000 for Ng and his family.
Goldie tries to speak with Ng’s family as often as she can, but understandably they are busy thinking about him and taking care of things while he is in hospital.
On Sunday, Goldie posted a message from Ng’s wife Samantha letting everyone know his most recent condition.
“We are truly overwhelmed with all the support and love from everyone. We had a chance to FaceTime with Edwin today. Although he was sedated and asleep, I told him about the wonderful work you guys are doing and how everyone is praying for him. I know he could hear me,” Samantha said in the post.
"I’m really praying he starts to recover soon," she added.
Goldie reflected on her friend's condition and said she wishes this on no one, but added it is particularly sad it happened to Ng.
“Of all the people, I just hate that it happened to Edwin. The thought of him being alone and his family not able to see him, (or) hold his hand,” said an emotional Goldie.
The Roberta Place long-term care home has been in outbreak since Jan. 8. Since then, 40 residents have died from COVID-19 as well as one essential caregiver.
On Saturday, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit confirmed the presence of a UK variant inside the Essa Road facility.
On Sunday, local medical officer of health Dr. Charles Gardner said he's "fully convinced" that all of the Roberta Place deaths and confirmed cases linked to the facility are from the UK variant.
According to Sunday’s numbers, all but two of the 127 residents at the 137-bed facility have the virus. There are also 86 staff who have tested positive. Six residents are also hospitalized.
The situation has worsened as each day passes and the numbers continue to rise.
Goldie says she wanted to give a face to the virus that has consumed the workplace.
“Edwin truly is a gift from God. He is just so great to be around and everyone misses him,” she said. “I just really want to help his family while he is ill and maybe show people that people are dying and sick, kind of put a face to the numbers that are being reported.
"I would hope everyone could give to the GoFundMe and pray for Edwin and everyone who is sick," Goldie added.
The GoFundMe page can be accessed here.