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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Calgary woman’s flowers bring ‘nice boost’ for health-care workers amid COVID-19 pandemic


Alberta’s hardworking health-care workers are getting some new support in the battle against COVID-19.

Calgary hairstylist Melissa Miller is out to boost their spirts by handing out well-deserved bouquets of flowers to front-line workers at hospitals.

“I know you guys are under a lot of stress and strain,” Miller told one nurse, “so I just wanted to send you some love.”

Read more:
Alberta health-care workers desperate for COVID-19 help: ‘We are treading water as furiously as we can’

Health-care workers said it’s a gesture they appreciate.

“Everyone’s pretty burnt out right now, and having that appreciation, it’s a nice boost,” registered nurse Kelsey Lauren said.

Miller was handing out bouquets Friday outside the Sheldon Chumir Health Centre in Calgary.

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“It’s very encouraging,” registered nurse Ria Schneider said. “(It) makes me feel even more proud to do what I do every day.”

Read more:
A night at the ICU: Alberta health-care workers share reality of COVID-19 patient care

Health-care workers said the flowers are especially helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re trying to stay above ground right now,” registered nurse Monica Park said.

“It’s been a little difficult.”

Miller said she found recent protests at hospitals upsetting.

“Our health-care workers don’t deserve that, so it’s been really hard to watch,” she said.

Miller is calling her efforts The Lois Project, inspired by her 81-year-old grandmother Lois, a retired nurse.

Read more:
Burnt-out health-care workers prepare to take on Alberta’s COVID-19 patients

Miller started handing out bouquets on Sept. 18 with $60 worth of flowers she had bought.

The project has been growing since then as others join in to support it.

“I set up a GoFundMe account this past week, and in four days it accumulated a little over $2,600 in donations,” Miller said.

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“I am going to hit as many hospitals as I can, show love to as many people as I can and just spread the kindness.”

Miller’s efforts have been well-received by the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, which represents about 55,000 health-care workers around the province.

“Our health-care workers really do deserve every accolade that could be thrust upon them,” AUPE vice-president Bonnie Gostola said.

“They are the heroes in this pandemic.”

 

 

 

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© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.





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