A Gift from the Heart

In mid-March, when COVID-19 began affecting Canada and sent the country into lockdown, two of Jean-Guy Bourguignon’s close friends were on an urgent flight home from Mexico to Ottawa.

Jean-Guy Bourguignon of IronTree Builders Inc.

“They were in the airport with thousands of other people and the plane was filled with hundreds and sure enough they got sick with the virus.” Jean-Guy explained the severity of the couple’s case echoing his friends’ words. “They almost died, one of them, my friend’s wife was on life support. She went septic, she was vomiting blood, and she had to be on oxygen – that is how close they got. And she is a nurse herself! Their entire house was on COVID lockdown, it was an extremely hard time for them.”

Watching his friends survive the virus only enhanced his appreciation for the dedication and hard work of our frontline healthcare workers.

Dr. Hassan Sannoufi of QCH, dedicated advocate for the Foundation, knows both Jean-Guy and his business partner well, so he reached out and asked them to make a gift to Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation. Without hesitation, the partners, on behalf of their company, IronTree Builders Inc., made a $5,000 gift.

IronTree Builders Inc. is an Ottawa-based custom spec home builders deeply connected to the community. As homebuilders they understand the fundamental contributions community members make to the city. Jean-Guy pointed out that when building new neighborhoods and new homes, a percentage of the home buyer’s money is what is used to build roads, parks and trails that bring together the fabric of a new development. Because the Ottawa community supports their business and the development of our city, they felt compelled to give back.

Jean-Guy, originally from Ottawa, has used the services of Queensway Carleton Hospital many times and was always pleased by the attention of the team. He firmly believes that without our frontline healthcare workers, people who are sick in our community would have nowhere to go. He simply stated, “I am incredibly thankful for them.”

Especially after his friends fell ill and nearly lost their lives to the corona virus.

We asked Jean-Guy why he chose to give to our COVID-19 Response Fund.

“Because you needed it… This is a time where we need to band together. We are dealing with uncertainties and the funds are needed in our community. We were asked by someone who we have a lot of respect for and we made a donation to a great hospital that I have used multiple times in my life.”

Speaking to the rest of the community, he added the following:

“If you can… please donate. We all have different moments in our lives, we all have our ups and downs. Right now there are a lot of businesses who are going to be hurting… there are going to be a lot of closures and there will be those that prosper. Those that are prospering and those who can, whether its now, next year, or 5 years from now, if you can, when your moment comes, please donate. Let’s keep our fabric and let’s keep our structure strong.”

The gift that the partners made on behalf of IronTree Builders Inc., will ensure that our frontline heroes will continue to have the tools and equipment they need to care for our community. And people like Jean-Guy’s friends will get the best care for COVID-19 or any other healthcare challenge. Even more patients at Queensway Carleton Hospital will benefit because of IronTree’s incredible generosity.

Jean-Guy and his partner wanted to send a big thank you to our frontline healthcare workers.

“Thank you from Irontree Builders Inc., from our family to yours. We come from the same fabric, we come from the same foundation, different walks of life, but we as a community can become stronger and learn how to be better together and support each other.”