One Victoria man never imagined celebrating his 75th birthday with a ski trip would result in being diagnosed with COVID-19 and pneumonia.
Or that he would end up fighting for his life in the hospital.
It was March when Gordon Viberg returned to Victoria after his birthday vacation and followed directions to self-isolate; a mere 10 days later, he started to notice what felt like a sinus cold, and then a brutal headache.
His temperature then began climbing, and he was delirious. When it spiked to over 40 degrees, his wife contacted their family doctor, who immediately recommended calling 911.
The next thing he remembers is waking up in the ICU at Royal Jubilee Hospital and being told he had tested positive COVID-19.
Gordon’s blood oxygen absorption levels had dropped to 72%, and his condition was critical. Then the news got even worse: a portable X-ray machine showed that he also had pneumonia.
Antibiotics helped, but Gordon was so weak that he couldn’t get out of bed; he was in the ICU for 12 days, where his wife and son couldn’t even visit. He could only talk to them by phone.
Despite this, Gordon says his experience with the staff at Royal Jubilee Hospital was the best he’s had anywhere.
“Even through their PPE, the staff were so positive and focused on keeping me calm. They gave me comfort even though I’m sure they were under tremendous stress,” says Gordon.
After 16 total days in the hospital, the nurse who had admitted him helped him walk out the front doors.
“I lived outside of Canada nearly 40 of my 75 years. The care that we have here in Victoria is the best you could find anywhere. I never imagined having to spend time in critical care, but I’m so grateful I was in Victoria when I needed it,” Gordon adds.
“Thanks to our hospitals, I have no lasting effects or health issues. I’m back to playing tennis daily. I feel one hundred per cent, but I know that my story could have ended quite differently.”
Gordon was so inspired by the care he received, he recently made a gift to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s latest fundraising campaign to help expand critical care and future patients like him.
Donors like Gordon help fund 40% of the equipment in the hospitals the Victoria Hospitals Foundation supports. This allows doctors and hospitals to get the resources they need faster than without donor support.
Will you join Gordon in giving so that more people in Greater Victoria can have access to the life-saving critical care?
It’s not just important; it’s critical.
Click here to donate online today or call 250-519-1750.