Venezuela - Halifax
Art by Emily Honderich
Sylvia Valdebenito story
Sylvia Valdebenito Sylvia Valdebenito-Doucette is a Venezuelan physician, born in Chile. She moved to Nova Scotia with her 12-year-old daughter as a skilled worker. She works as a nurse in one of the primary nursing homes in Nova Scotia. She lives in Bedford with her husband and her parents.
Memories and COVID
I am an immigrant Physician from Venezuela, born in Chile. As a young child, my family emigrated to Venezuela, where I grew up. Since childhood, I had a real passion for science and the human body, so I became a doctor working in the emergency room in a hospital in a rural area close to the border between Colombia and Venezuela. I was a front-line physician attending cases for epidemics like cholera, dengue, and encephalitis. My team and I helped many people but also lost many more, leaving strong footprints in my mind and memories.
I moved to Canada in 2008, becoming a permanent resident of a country that gave me hope of a fresh start.
In December 2019, I started following the news about some new disease, still unknown by the medical world. As COVID-19 spread globally and when lockdown measures were later put in place here in Nova Scotia, my anxiety level increased, confirming my worst fear that the disease would reach us. Due to my past experiences, Covid fear is immense. Early on, I prepared myself and my family for the unknown. It was a difficult time, but with more knowledge now, and support from each other, I have been able to deal with my memories and my Covid fear.
'It was a difficult time, but with more knowledge now, and support from each other, I have been able to deal with my memories and my Covid fear."