Patient remembers ‘so much pain’ during surgery assisted by fake nurse at Vancouver hospital

Sadye Matula

Alexandra Tymkiw encountered Brigitte Cleroux for the duration of just one of her most susceptible moments. It was Dec. 15, 2020, and Tymkiw was a client at B.C. Women’s Healthcare facility in Vancouver, about to have surgery to remove a polyp from her uterus. Cleroux was offered to her as […]

Alexandra Tymkiw encountered Brigitte Cleroux for the duration of just one of her most susceptible moments. It was Dec. 15, 2020, and Tymkiw was a client at B.C. Women’s Healthcare facility in Vancouver, about to have surgery to remove a polyp from her uterus.

Cleroux was offered to her as a perioperative nurse who would be administering ache medication throughout the technique, in accordance to Tymkiw, a 40-calendar year-outdated Burnaby resident.

Tymkiw explained she was quickly struck by Cleroux’s demeanour. She described her as loud, condescending and self-aggrandizing, which she uncovered abnormal for a health and fitness skilled.

“I obtained on the table and I experienced my legs in stirrups and I was disrobed from the midsection down, legs huge open up, so they can operate on me. And I am fairly nervous,” Tymkiw recalled.

“I’m just declaring to myself, ‘OK, these are specialists … never fear.'”

But as it turns out, they weren’t all industry experts.

On Thursday, Tymkiw acquired a letter from the medical center, informing her that Cleroux did not have any nursing qualifications when she assisted with that surgery.

In simple fact, Cleroux, 49, has been arrested and billed with fraud more than $5,000 and personation with the intent to acquire advantage. Vancouver law enforcement say she utilised the identify of a real nurse to get work at the medical center, where she provided care to patients from June 2020 to June 2021.

Tymkiw also uncovered that Cleroux is struggling with very similar fees in Ottawa, and has a extensive record of impersonation.

‘Right away, there is certainly tons of pain’

Tymkiw was deeply disturbed by the news, but it also raised new queries about her terrifying encounter for the duration of what should have been a rather plan course of action.

She reported her surgery was executed under local anaesthetic although Cleroux administered discomfort medicine.

“Proper away, there is tons of suffering. I have a line in at the time and I’m intended to be having painkillers, but there is discomfort,” Tymkiw reported.

Brigitte Cleroux, 49, is accused of posing as a nurse making use of falsified qualifications in Vancouver and Ottawa. (Ottawa Law enforcement Service)

She attempted to hide her pain, assuming the suffering was usual, and endeavoured to breathe her way by way of it.

“Very little was helping, and it bought to the position exactly where I was variety of squirming away from the surgeon. I remember my legs were just shaking, so there was so significantly agony,” Tymkiw mentioned.

She stated Cleroux was requested to launch far more ache medication, but it did not aid. Tymkiw describes it as “10 out of 10 soreness — and I’ve had a kidney stone.”

Sooner or later, the surgeon experienced to stop the technique, Tymkiw claimed.

CBC Information has observed no proof that Cleroux is dependable for the critical discomfort Tymkiw expert, and Cleroux has not been charged with any offences in link to the immediate treatment of individuals in B.C.

In Ottawa, nonetheless, she has been charged with assault with a weapon and felony negligence resulting in bodily harm for allegedly administering medication and injections to sufferers at a fertility clinic without the need of the required qualifications.

‘Why failed to you just end nursing school?’

Tymkiw stated she hasn’t read from police about their investigation.

She’s wrapping up training to come to be a registered therapeutic massage therapist, and said she’s acutely conscious of how little general public discussion there is about women’s overall health — specifically when it comes to reproductive and gynecological issues.

Due to the fact of this stigma, Tymkiw said she’s spent most of the past 12 months pondering her expertise in medical procedures was standard. It was only after her twin sister underwent the exact method and wasn’t in excruciating agony that Tymkiw realized there was something abnormal about what transpired to her.

Brigitte Cleroux is shown in an more mature photograph shared by the Higher education of Nurses of Ontario. (College or university of Nurses of Ontario)

That’s what makes Tymkiw so offended about Cleroux’s alleged fraud. 

“Her possessing the audacity to just forge her way in there is just so disturbing,” Tymkiw mentioned. “Looking at this other woman in a susceptible posture, in a ton of suffering and with her legs distribute.”

In accordance to court docket documents, Cleroux completed two yrs of a 4-12 months nursing application in Colorado, but has under no circumstances been licensed as a nurse. She was very first convicted in relation to posing as a nurse in 2005 in Ontario, and has a record of comparable crimes in Alberta and Quebec.

All this historical past leaves Tymkiw with one question.

“All the difficulties she went to to faux remaining a nurse, it’s like, why didn’t you just finish nursing faculty?” she explained.

In the letter Tymkiw been given about Cleroux, main working officer Cheryl Davies says the hospital and the Provincial Well being Companies Authority are now conducting a in depth critique to decide how Cleroux was allowed to operate there.

Cleroux is scheduled to make her initially physical appearance in Vancouver provincial courtroom on Dec. 7.

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