Calgary nurse’s post defending front-line workers to ‘internet trolls’ goes viral

Courtney Jewell has been a nurse in the intensive care unit at the Foothills Medical Centre for more than 10 years.

Jewell has loved her job since she started and said she felt honoured to be able to help people at a critical time in their lives.

“I want to help someone on their very worst day,” she explained.

“If I can make that very strange and scary space of the ICU more comfortable for someone when they’re facing the biggest crisis of their life, that’s what I love to do.”

Read more: 1,205 Alberta health-care workers — 1% of workforce — have tested positive for COVID-19

Jewell returned home after a shift and when she woke up to internet trolls downplaying the pandemic and disputing it, she felt compelled to write a post to her fellow front-line workers.

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Her Facebook post reads, in part:

“These awful people, hiding behind their computers are accusing nurses and doctors and data analyst of inflating the numbers, lying about the overwhelmed state of our hospitals, trying to fear monger or even trying to take advantage of all the overtime pay.

“It’s gross, and I this is what I want to say to every terrible, ignorant person out there who has been changing my perception of humanity… We will still be there for you!

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“Despite all the crap you are spreading online, when you come into emerg, with your eyes bulging out of your head because you can’t breathe…we’ll take care of you. Even at great risk to our own health, we will do everything we can to help you oxygenate better as COVID starts to ravage your lungs. And when you deteriorate, we will sedate you, intubate (put a breathing tube in) and transfer you to one of the excellent ICUs we have across this province.”

Click to play video 'Health Matters: COVID-19 infections & health care workers’ mental health' Health Matters: COVID-19 infections & health care workers’ mental health

Health Matters: COVID-19 infections & health care workers’ mental health

“We will treat you with respect and dignity and compassion because that is what we do.

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“No matter what you have said, what you have done, we will care for you. Because that’s just who we are.

“We are not heroes but simply people with compassion and who have a desire to help… We don’t need to be attacked right now.

“And you know who else we care for?

“We will care for your older brother who had a heart attack last night, and your son who was drinking and driving and smashed into a pole… Your mom who had a massive cancer surgery and your uncle who fell down the stairs and is now a quadriplegic. Because, despite what you are telling everyone online, we are full of these patients as well.”

Read more: Hospital beds versus staff: Is COVID-19 overwhelming the human side of Alberta’s health system?

“So my dear ignorant, misinformed Internet troll, even though you tried to take me down, make me lose my faith in humanity, I’ve decided that you won’t win.

“And when the reality of this crisis hits you in the face, or destroys the health of someone you love, we’ll be there for you.”

The post has gone viral and has been shared across the country.

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“If this can educate anyone as to what we’re actually facing in the ICU, that’s positive,” Jewell explained.

Read more: ‘All we’ve done is taken our foot off the gas’: doctor responds to new Alberta COVID-19 restrictions

She’s felt overwhelmed with gratitude for the people who have shared it and hopes that it helped raised morale for those struggling as essential workers.

“It blows my mind actually and I want to say thank you,” Jewell said.

“Seeing it being shared from Victoria to Newfoundland — it restored my faith in humanity.”

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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