Follow us
PROMO All information available in the news


The Kindness Curse: Christy Woods' Story

I learned about Christy Woods, a nurse from British Columbia who went on a humanitarian mission to Ukraine, from a group of Ukrainian newcomers staying at the Avid hotel in Vaughn last year.

The Red Cross was offering these newcomers a free two-week stay at the hotel. This limited timeframe to secure permanent accommodation in Toronto was a significant challenge for individuals who had just arrived in a new country without employment.

So late on Saturday, March 19, I went to the Avis hotel with another volunteer Olha to assist the newcomers with job searches and finding housing. We also brought several bags of donated clothing, as most people had arrived with only a couple of bags containing basic necessities for themselves and their children.

Surprisingly, instead of talking about their own problems, Ukrainian newcomers started talking about Christy, a Canadian nurse that went on a humanitarian mission to Ukraine to offer her nursing skills and that was also staying at the same hotel.   

Christy returned from Ukraine badly injured, in significant pain, and likely depressed. In urgent need of accommodation, Christy did not receive the same assistance as Ukrainians arriving on CUAET visas and had to pay for the hotel herself. 

By the time I arrived at the hotel, Christy had already checked out because she couldn’t afford to stay there any longer. She was apparently staying in her car in a nearby Walmart parking lot. This was alarming, as the freezing temperatures made it impossible for her to survive overnight in a car. Concerned for her wellbeing, after meeting with the newcomers, we took an Uber with one of them, Kate, around 1 a.m. to search for Christy’s car in the parking lots of two different Walmarts. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find her.

Kate shared that she had spent the entire day calling various organizations to get help for Christy without much luck. Someone even suggested she call Justin Trudeau. We laughed at the idea, as Kate had only been in Canada for a few days and she was already working on addressing systemic issues affecting Canadian citizens.

A few days later, we learned from Kate that Christy had checked herself into a hospital, as she was in a pretty bad shape. This was actually a good news, knowing she was no longer exposed to the cold and was receiving care. The next day, I went with Kate to see Christy at the hospital. She explained to us that before leaving for Ukraine, she had signed documents stating that the Canadian government was not responsible if she were injured or killed. So she was basically on her own with her problems now.

Listening to Christy, I felt sad for her. When Christy went to Ukraine, her story was covered in the Toronto Sun (“Prince George, B.C. nurse heading into Ukraine war zone to provide aid“), but when she  returned back broken in every sense, there was nobody welcoming her home.

To me, people like Christy, a nurse with a big heart, who selflessly went to a war zone to help innocent civilians in Ukraine, are the best kinds of citizens. They should be celebrated and supported, especially when they find themselves in need.

No one should regret being kind and doing good for others. I hope Christy never does.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *