A Comox Valley couple purchased more than 100 meals for staff at the North Island Hospital Comox Valley on April 22. Black Press file photo

Valley couple provides meals for hospital staff to honour son, say thank you

"They work so hard and are so thoughtful and kind."

A Comox Valley couple provided more than 100 meals for staff at the hospital this week, as a way to honour their son and to say thank you to the health care community.

Surindra and Paul Gill, along with help from Manvirro’s Indian Grill, provided the meals on April 22 to staff at the North Island Hospital Comox Valley.

“We wanted to do something and to say thank you; they work so hard and are so thoughtful and kind,” explained Surindra, who, along with her husband, owned a jewelry business for decades in both Courtenay and Comox.

About 20 years ago, the couple lost their son (who was a doctor) and also wanted to find a way to honour his memory.

The couple’s son worked as a doctor on cruise ships prior to transitioning to the hospital in Kamloops, explained Surindra. One night after pulling a double shift, he drove to an arena in Vernon where he regularly played hockey. He then headed to SilverStar resort where he went to sleep and died instantly.

“That’s part of what inspired us, and all of the staff working so hard; it’s the least we can do.”

The couple met with the hospital last week to arrange the delivery and packed all of the food with bottles of water. With the help of the restaurant, they took the food to the hospital’s main entrance for staff to enjoy.

While Surindra noted she was busy assisting with the delivery, she did notice one woman who appeared to be finishing her shift and grabbed some food.

“She was just in tears – she was so kind to express that gratitude.”

A representative for Island Health noted the outpouring of generosity and support during the challenging time has been overwhelmingly encouraging for everyone at the health authority.

“We wish to acknowledge each and every individual, business and organization who has offered donations and support. The Island Health family recognizes each effort, large or small, and is buoyed by the ongoing groundswell of positivity.”

This feel-good story is part of the #WereInThisTogether campaign by Black Press Media. Have an uplifting story that you think would bring joy to readers? Email your story, photos and videos to wereinthistogether@blackpress.ca.

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