Monday, December 25, 2006


Editor(Maple Ridge NEWS and the Pittmeadows TIMES):

This one will be short.

Often – too often really – we hear the sirens of the Paramedics as they rush through our streets to or from one emergency or accident or another.

I’m not sure about others, but when I hear the sirens or as I pull over onto the shoulder with flashing lights either coming fast towards me in my rearview mirror or dashing straight towards me, I habitually reflect on who the patient may be in the ambulance. An elderly person, a young person, a man, a woman, a child, a mum or dad?

This afternoon I was the person in the ambulance. I suffered a seizure of sorts in the Haney Place Mall. As a long time critic of the Mall I suspect the Mall was trying to tell me something. That was at around 2:300PM. It is now 6:52PM.

Thankfully my daughter Olivia was with me and thankfully she was kindly assisted by a caring passerby who will forgive me for me mentioning his name; Jeff Dumont. When perfect strangers pounce on the opportunity to help a stranger in distress, we are reminded that none of us are strangers really.

I said this was going to be short. Sorry. Nearly done.

I want to thank so much those folks in Haney Place Mall who helped my daughter, and I want to thank the paramedics for the unbelievable job they did for me and for what they continue to do in this community.

The transition from the ambulance to emerge was lighting fast and flawless. The professionalism displayed by Dr. Willems and Dr. Auersberg was good humoured and relaxed.

And finally. The pages of the NEWS and TIMES have seen too much Andrupian pontificating over the years and one subject I never touch on has been healthcare in this province. I have never understood why the Fraser Valley Health Authority gets such a spanking from the critics; people who attack our healthcare system need to spend some time in other jurisdictions in other countries (almost any country you can think of) if they want to get a taste of failing healthcare systems. A short drive across the border south should be illuminating enough.

In the background the discussion of the two-tier system builds momentum rather than fades. If people feel the urge to pay big bucks for the incredible medical attention I received three hours ago let them have at it. It is after all, their money.

As I said, this letter was going to be short. I guess I’m on the naughty list now for lying.

Claus Andrup
Port Haney

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