In Quebec, air ambulances continue the incomprehensible practice of separating children and parents – despite no written policy demanding it
It was a relatively quiet summertime shift in the emergency room at Montreal children’s hospital when the child – an Inuk preschooler – was rushed in on a stretcher. He had been airlifted in from a remote community after a motor vehicle accident, and he was entirely alone. Suddenly he began to cry. We couldn’t speak his language, and couldn’t find a hospital interpreter. Had he developed a sudden headache? Should we rush him to the CT scanner?
While trying to figure out how to proceed, we found someone who spoke Inuktitut, and learned the heartbreaking reason the child was crying: he missed his mother, who had to stay behind, more than 1,500km away.