First responders in Côte-Saint-Luc are worried and heartbroken after their colleague, volunteer Clifford Jordan, became seriously ill while vacationing in Barbados, where doctors had to amputate his right leg.
Jordan, a 49-year-old first responder, was found unresponsive during his trip on Jan. 13 and was rushed to a local hospital, where he is now on life support.
Eddy Arfam, the chief of Côte-Saint-Luc's Emergency Medical Services (EMS), helped organize a fundraiser for Clifford and his family that has so far raised more than $30,000.
Arfam has been in regular contact with Jordan's family over the past couple of weeks and was told that although doctors still don't have an exact diagnosis, they believe he may have contracted a flesh-eating bacteria.
Jordan had been visiting family in the country, which he visits every year, Arfam said.
"I've worked with Clifford over 10 years now. He's a great colleague to have. He's a great volunteer. I've had the privilege the last two years of being his manager at Côte-Saint-Luc EMS. He really truly represents the best of our volunteers," said Arfam.
Côte-Saint-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein called Jordan "a hero in his community."
"He's been volunteering and saving lives, touching so many people in our community for 20 years," said Brownstein, adding Jordan's situation has deeply affected staff in the city's emergency services.
"They meet people in all types of situations and they get really close to each other because they're serving the community in urgent situations — life and death."
'All I hope for is that he can make it home'
For Marc-Olivier Chatillon, the news about Jordan's illness was a shock.
"I've known Clifford for eight years now. He's always been a great friend, a role model for me and to find out that this has happened to him, and that he's the one in need now — yeah, it tugged a few strings in my heart," Chatillon said.
"All I hope for is that he can make it home."
Arfam said the funds he and his colleagues have raised, including two anonymous donations of $1,000, will help Jordan's family with the hefty medical bills as well as the "extensive expense for the flight back home."
He said it's clear the city's community wants to give back to a man who's spent so much time helping others in need.