From the ICU: Dr. Omar Ahmad’s Message

Dr. Bonnie Henry summed it up perfectly: We are not through the storm yet. We have not yet reached the peak. 

COVID-19 is an unprecedented threat to our health and community. It’s unlike anything we’ve faced before. But in Victoria, thanks to your help and generous support, we’re prepared to fight.

Daily, we are inspired and encouraged to see our amazing community adhering to physical distancing. We see your messages of support and hear the loud cheers for your healthcare teams. Most critically, we know you are staying home so that we are all safer. We (don’t!) see you and we thank you!

I see my peers. I see them in our Victoria Intensive Care Units (ICUs). I see my team’s brave faces as they put on their personal protective equipment to provide life-saving therapies. Every day, they demonstrate the greatest teamwork and courage I’ve ever seen.

Right now, at this unparalleled time, our ICUs require greater resources than ever before as we battle. 

We are making many critical decisions and employing emergency measures. We are creating new space in our ICUs. We are moving patients from one area of the hospital to the other. We have newly empty beds in our hospitals. It’s eerie—not because it’s more quiet than usual, but because it’s a reminder of what is to come.

This job… it can be both incredibly gratifying and taxing for all of us in the ICU. But we are here, we are ready, because our community is our highest priority.

Your support means the world. Over the years, donors to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation have funded technology that will make a critical difference to our ICUs in the days and weeks ahead.

Just last year, donors like you helped fund high-tech vital signs monitors for our ICUs that alert us the second there is a change in our patients’ vitals. They will be incredibly impactful in supporting our COVID-19 patients, alongside ventilators, some of which were also funded by Foundation donors. Thank you.

But demand is ever-growing, and technology is ever-changing. Especially now.

We have this critical equipment now because it was identified as a priority need for our hospitals, and our heroic community stepped up to make world-class care a priority. We thank you. Island Health thanks you.

We are in this together, and now more than ever.

—Dr. Omar Ahmad

Department Head, Emergency and Critical Care Medicine, Island Health