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Former Newmarket-Aurora MP thanks front-line staff after his mom dies

Pat Peterson died in Chartwell Aurora during outbreak of coronavirus
June 25, 2020
Lisa Queen

For years before she died in an Aurora seniors’ home in April, Pat Peterson was a beloved wife, mother of three and grandmother of four.

The mother of former Newmarket-Aurora MP Kyle Peterson enjoyed teaching, including at her last school before retirement, Morning Glory Public School in Pefferlaw.

A people person, Peterson never met a dance floor she didn’t like.

The former Queensville resident had retired to Haliburton before Ken, her husband of 48 years, died in 2015.

When she developed dementia, she moved into Chartwell Aurora Long Term Care Residence.

Peterson and his sisters, Kymm Dracup and Korri Hogg, were impressed with their care their mom received, especially during her last days before she died at the age of 76 on April 22.

They have set up a GoFundMe campaign to thank the employees.

Peterson lived on the third floor, where an outbreak of COVID-19 ravaged the home.

By the end, 11 residents had died, leading to the launch of a class-action lawsuit against the company.

Peterson didn’t get the virus, dying instead of pneumonia.

Her family weren’t able to visit after mid-March when pandemic closures went into effect but staff co-ordinated FaceTime sessions and shared a video the family made of Peterson’s grandchildren with her.

They remained by her side before she died, Kyle Peterson said.

“And they were doing this while all this was raging around them and that made it even more special. She wasn’t the only one who needed special attention at the time,” the Newmarket resident said.

“It was difficult, obviously, and a challenge but me and my sisters were impressed by the care she got through those last few days. And it also became clear to us that the front-line staff there were on the front line of this pandemic, especially at that time. They had a big outbreak at Chartwell Aurora. We were grateful for the work the staff did so we wanted to show some sort of acknowledgement of that after my mom passed away and to honour my mom. Knowing that the battle was still raging on at that time.”

Money raised through the GoFundMe is used to buy front-line staff meals, snacks, treats and masks.

The campaign has raised well over the initial target of $1,000.