A Ladner family is grieving after a family friend who inspired their son to become a paramedic has been claimed by COVID-19.
Simon and Lisa Everatt had a close relationship with Mark Stanley and his wife Jacqueline, a bond that stretched back to the mid-1980s when the two men served in the British military on UN duty together in Cyprus.
Stanley, who would go on to a 30-year career as a specialist paramedic for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service in the U.K., died April 30 after spending more than a week in intensive care.
A frequent visitor to Ladner over the years, Stanley was a big influence on the Everatts’ son Sam and was extremely proud last year when the younger Everatt qualified as a full primary care paramedic. The two would talk for hours about all things paramedic.
Stanley and his wife came to think of Ladner as their adopted Canadian home and at one point had plans to immigrate here. Stanley’s widow has plans to bring some of his ashes to Ladner in the next year or so in order that a little piece of him will be in a place he loved to be.
The Everatts are godparents to the Stanleys’ two adult children.
“I don’t know that I can put into words what Mark meant to me,” said Lisa Everatt in a Facebook post. “He had a unique gift to make everyone he ever met feel special and interesting, and a bigger gentleman you could never hope to meet.”
Stanley’s passing was covered by the Halifax Courier, which reported that the ambulance community in the area was rocked by the death of the 57-year-old who leaves a legacy of training hundreds of paramedics across West Yorkshire.
Described by friends as a fitness fanatic with a great sense of humour, Stanley was the second member of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service to die within a week.