SRMC rallies to support nurse after tragedy
Hospital, motorcycle club give to Boersma family after holiday house fire
PETERSBURG — There’s never a good time for disaster. During the holidays, tragedies seem to have an even greater sting. On Nov. 27, 2018, a fire destroyed the Boersma home, leaving Southside Regional Medical Center, or SRMC, emergency room nurse Russell Boersma, RN, his wife Theanae and six children, ages 2-20, displaced. But it is during these times of sadness that the Tri-Cities community and staff at SRMC show the greatest strength.
“It was brought to our attention they needed help, so we voted and made a donation of $250,” said Mark Talbott with the Red Knights of Virginia Chapter 8, Motorcycle Club. The 50 plus member club makes a point to do an annual donation to a family in need during the holidays.
Talbott is no stranger to the SRMC ER and knows the camaraderie between hospital staff and first responders. He’s currently a captain with Southside Virginia Emergency Crew and before that was a Petersburg fire fighter. This year, the motorcycle club chose Boersma’s family to help them rebuild during the holiday. The fire not only took the Boersma home but also the Christmas presents Russell and his wife bought for their children.
“He’s very humble and actually didn’t want any help,” said SRMC ER Director Karen Lea, RN, BSN, CEN. “When people heard about the fire they just wanted to do something.” In addition to the donation from the Red Knights, team members from departments across SRMC gave money and gift cards to help the Boersmas have a merry Christmas. This includes SRMC’s operating room staff adopting the family by providing a donation for Christmas dinner.
“We’ve been overwhelmed with the support we’ve gotten from everyone. Strangers thinking about our family and what we’ve gone through means so much,” says Russell Boersma. “It has meant a lot to make a very difficult time easier to deal with.”
SRMC is proud to have people of this measure on their staff and in the surrounding Tri-Cities community and would like to thank them on behalf of their employees and the Boersma family.
Mark Talbott, left, and SRMC ER Director Karen Lea RN, BSN, CEN, right, show their support for Russell Boersma, RN, center, after a fire consumed his family’s home.