Maureen McDermott addresses crowd

By: Mike Anderson

Nearly two dozen people took part in a candlelight vigil held at River Glen Haven Nursing Home in Sutton on June 4.

The event was organized by Maureen McDermott, who administers a Facebook group for family members, and whose own mother Elsie, 92, is a resident recovering from the virus.

Ms. McDermott said the vigil was a chance to remember the 32 people who have tragically passed due to COVID-19, and to support the home’s remaining residents and frontline workers.

To date, 88 residents and 32 staff members have tested positive for the virus since the outbreak began on April 27.

McDermott also thanked YRP officers in attendance from #3 District, some of whom had volunteered on their days off to meet residents at Black River Coffee before the outbreak began.

Although several RGH staff members also attended on their day-off, Ms. McDermott was disappointed that no one from ATK Care Inc., the home’s owner, RGH management or Southlake participated in the event.

A special plaque in the shape of a blue angel was also mounted on the fence in front of the home during the vigil.

It was donated by Gail McGillivary to remember those who had lost their lives during the outbreak, and featured butterflies, spring flowers and the inscription “River Glen Haven Strong.”

Kim Fudge lights candle by plaque
Kim’s baby girl sits in front of poster honouring her great grandparents

Kim Fudge, who recently lost her grandparents, Bill Maw and Lucy Lefrancois, at RGH to COVID-19, also placed a poster in their honour in front of the RGH sign on High St.

During the vigil, several family members were able to wave to their loved ones who came to windows on the side and rear of the building.

PSW and RN from RGH

Several PSWs and an RN from home came outside to greet the crowd and received well-deserved applause.

“It almost makes me cry. It’s just so heartfelt, and warming, which is all we need,” said Brenda Le Blanc, a PSW at RGH.

“We’re all sacrificing everything. We have to do what we are doing. This brings it all together. So we can go back in with a different perspective.”

Ms. Le Blanc is also hopeful that the end of the outbreak is insight.

“I am encouraged by what I see inside. We’re getting less and less serious cases now. This outbreak will end, ” she said.

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