Roger vs. COVID
Roger Pinette had been feeling unwell for a few days, struggling with a bad cough, headaches, a fever, and fatigue. They are the type of symptoms that have come to be associated with COVID-19, but back in early March 2020 it was not yet front and centre in people’s minds. It would be several weeks before the 72-year-old Langley resident would learn he had contracted a near fatal case of the respiratory illness, only hearing the news after he had awoken from a lengthy stay in Royal Columbian Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.
As a nephrologist in Iraq, Maha Alchalabi was a kidney specialist who came to Canada in 2014 seeking peace and wanting to practice medicine in this country. But during a visit to her family doctor three years after arriving here, the 54-year-old discovered a problem with her own kidneys. It was cancer, a diagnosis that in her mind presented no clear treatment options until her own research led to an interventional radiologist at Royal Columbian Hospital.
Angie Bisset was reading when she first heard the strange sound. She would later describe it as either a gargling or vomiting noise. When their golden retriever started barking and running back and forth from where her husband Martin was working out in their Nanaimo home, she decided to go check. What she found was terrifying. By the next day, the 39-year-old Martin would be helicoptered to Royal Columbian Hospital for a neurosurgical procedure to save the life of the father of two.