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Healthcare Worker Cheered At Canadian Border After Returning From 12-Hour Shift In Detroit Hospital

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 07 Apr 2020 14:18
Healthcare Worker Cheered At Canadian Border After Returning From 12-Hour Shift In Detroit HospitalHealthcare Worker Cheered At Canadian Border After Returning From 12-Hour Shift In Detroit HospitalCBC News

When respiratory therapist Jeffrey Rowe was heading back to Ontario after a hectic 12-hour hospital shift in Detroit on Saturday night, April 4, he was stopped by police for the most unusual reason.

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Rowe, who works at Henry Ford Health System’s Midtown Detroit hospital, thought he might be stopped from returning to his native Canada at the border.

Instead, he was moved to tears when greeted by the officers.

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‘I came through the tunnel and there wasn’t a lot of traffic, and when I went through the customs area, there was about two or three cars with their emergency lights on,’ Rowe said, as per CBC.

‘I thought, ‘Oh man, they’re not going to let us back in the country’. I was totally frightened.’

But, when he approached the police officers, Rowe said there were about 20 officers standing with hand-written signs, cheering and welcoming them back into the country.

Rowe was left shocked by the emotional display from the Canadian border officers, who usually remain straight-faced and stoic in their duties.

Healthcare Worker Cheered At Canadian Border After Returning From 12 Hour Shift In Detroit HospitalHealthcare Worker Cheered At Canadian Border After Returning From 12 Hour Shift In Detroit HospitalCBC News

He said:

I rolled down my window and gave them the thumbs-up and said, ‘You guys are awesome’.

To see these guys jump up and big smiles, just crazy. It just went right to my heart. I was crying all the way home.

When he got home, Rowe was so emotional he could barely tell his wife, who also works in healthcare in Michigan, what had happened.

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He recalled:

My knees got kind of rubbery [and] I just went down onto my knees and explained to her what happened – we both just hugged each other and started crying.

Although he admits he’s not usually a social media person, he did take to Facebook to share a video message about how much the gesture meant to him.

Rowe said the response has been completely positive, but added that it did hit home and make him realise the intensity of the situation he’s in.

Healthcare Worker Cheered At Canadian Border After Returning From 12 Hour Shift In Detroit HospitalHealthcare Worker Cheered At Canadian Border After Returning From 12 Hour Shift In Detroit HospitalCBC News

The most challenging part, Rowe said, is keeping patients who have tested positive for the virus away from those who haven’t.

‘We’re having to put people all over the place, it’s really tough. Because of that, as therapists, we’re having to transport patients from unit to unit,’ he said. ‘Some of our therapists had to be tested because they’re showing signs of it.’

Rowe is one of hundreds of dedicated health care workers crossing the Canada-US border each day for work, to help fight the pandemic.

It’s okay to not panic about everything going on in the world right now. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization, click here.

Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: Health, Canadian Border, Health Care Workers, Henry Ford Health System, Ontario, police officers

Credits

CBC News
  1. CBC News

    Ontario health-care worker posts emotional thank-you to border officers