Hayley Wickenheiser can’t believe how quickly her quest for personal protective equipment has come to fruition.
Canadian hockey legend, Ontario Premier Doug Ford and an army of volunteers joined forces at a storage facility in Toronto on Saturday to collect, organize and then distribute medical equipment that frontline workers greatly needed. needed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Oh, that’s amazing. Eighty volunteers from all walks of life, most people who haven’t known each other since Monday,” Wickenheiser said over the speakerphone as she continued to work with volunteers. “Important business people, lawyers, doctors, the Ontario Medical Association is helping. We got a truck here from Barrie that hauled massive supplies.
“Just Canadians coming together. That’s exactly what it is. It’s the base.”
Wickenheiser’s medical training in Toronto was cut short when his teachers joined the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19, so the Hockey Hall of Fame launched a social media plea for the equipment last Sunday. personal protection.
Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds has amplified his demand from his 35 million followers on Instagram, reinforcing his call for 13,500 masks, 13,500 gloves and 1,350 chemo gowns.
Wickenheiser has aligned his PPE training with the ConquerCOVID19 group. It is an organization of medical and business professionals that sprang up two weeks ago to find equipment to keep doctors, nurses and healthcare workers safe while treating those infected. by the virus.
Ford joined Wickenheiser at XYZ Storage on Saturday morning for the first installment of a weekly trip through the plant in eastern Toronto. Reynolds called to speak with Ford and Wickenheiser in a video posted to the Prime Minister’s Twitter account.
You had the opportunity to connect with @VancityReynolds and @ wick_22 to @ conquercovid19 PPE reader. I want to thank them for teaming up with the incredible # ConquerCOVID19. If you have any masks, gloves, gowns and other supplies that our frontline workers need, please donate today. pic.twitter.com/5GxS5hkmw0
“This ConquerCOVID team is just miraculous,” Reynolds said in a conversation with Wickenheiser and Ford. “These guys and girls brought us back from the brink and my gratitude to them is pretty much endless.”
ConquerCOVID19 worked with Toys R Us to install video baby monitors in hospitals, so doctors could communicate with and treat patients in isolation while maintaining PPE equipment.
WATCH | Wickenheiser told CBC’s Jacqueline Doorey: “People need connection”:
Wickenheiser-Reynolds demand resulted in a deluge of material to be sorted, stored and redistributed as quickly as possible.
“We will make deliveries today as fast as possible to vulnerable populations who really need them,” Wickenheiser said. “We want to start putting our drivers on the road. We don’t want to house this stuff, we want to get it in and out as quickly as possible.”
Volvo provided a fleet of vehicles to deliver supplies to hospitals and healthcare facilities, with Purolator and Canadian Tire also donating supplies and services. The Thistledown Foundation donated $ 1 million on Saturday to the cause.
Wickenheiser says he’s happy with the response from businesses and individuals, but says the goal is to “close the gap” until supplies ordered by the provincial and federal governments arrive.
“We hope we don’t have to continue,” Wickenheiser said. “Our governments are waiting for deliveries to help people, but there are a lot of vulnerable populations or indigenous communities that are going to need this stuff and we are trying to help.”