Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad  Print this page

Mom receives Christmas 'miracle'

Christine Grimard
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 20/06) - Annette Poitras was thrilled when a few friends paid her a surprise visit last Friday. She was so delighted she dressed up like Santa Claus to enjoy the Christmas spirit.

Poitras needed cheering up. Her son has been in an Edmonton hospital since September, and her husband took leave from work to be with him, making times tough in the Poitras household.
NNSL Photo/graphic

Annette Poitras dressed up as Santa Claus to entertain some friends who came by for a surprise visit. Her friend Tracey-Lynn Lower surprised her with two plane tickets to Edmonton so that she and her eight-year-old son could be with her husband and other son who is in hospital in Edmonton. - photo courtesy of Tracey-Lynn Lower

Without the money for plane tickets, the Poitras' were set to spend Christmas apart.

But just as Poitras jokingly invited her friends to sit on her lap, they said they had a present to give to Santa Claus.

They handed a gift to her eight-year-old son, who tore it apart until he got to an envelope, which he handed over to his mother. Inside were two tickets to Edmonton.

What followed were tears of joy for what Poitras describes as a miracle.

"Those were the most wonderful sobs and tears I have ever experienced," said Poitras.

Poitras kept crying when her friends passed her another envelope marked, "A little spending money for you and yours to enjoy at Christmas," with more than $700 inside.

Poitras' friend and co-worker, Tracey-Lynn Lower, had sent an e-mail around the office at the Investment and Economic Analysis division of the NWT department of Industry, Tourism and Investment.

"Everyone opened their wallets and their hearts," said Lower. Knowing that Friday was pay day, Lower collected cash from her co-workers, getting enough to pay for the airfare and the extra spending money.

Canadian North donated one of the plane tickets, and sold the second ticket to Lower at a "compassionate" discounted price.

Lower said it was easy to get everyone to help out, since Poitras is well-loved at work, and has been affectionately-dubbed "mama bear" around the office.

"She's always been kind of a mama to everyone," said Lower. "She's constantly doing something for you."