A large illuminated heart was installed on the roof of the Vernon Jubilee Hospital May 1, 2020 but has been missing since a storm damaged the feature. (VJH Foundation photo)

A large illuminated heart was installed on the roof of the Vernon Jubilee Hospital May 1, 2020 but has been missing since a storm damaged the feature. (VJH Foundation photo)

Storm breaks North Okanagan hospital’s heart

White glowing heart sustained damage in wind storm

Vernon’s heart is broken. But not for long.

The glowing white heart atop the Vernon Jubilee Hospital was injured Jan. 13.

“The heart sustained some minor damage during the wind storm yesterday,” VJH Foundation communications officer Bree Cawley said. “However, the team at Black and McDonald are currently working on repairs and hope to have it back up and shining brightly for this evening.”

The LED heart is a tribute to essential workers who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic.

It was first erected in May after the Foundation launched the #WhiteHeartsforVJH campaign in April.

READ MORE: White heart campaign grows brighter in Vernon

The heart — constructed and placed on the hospital roof as a symbol of hope — was equipped with a new feature at the start of 2021 so that it is now slowly pulsing and beating.

“The heart has become a simple but inspiring part of the community since the beginning of the pandemic and our team is proud to have been behind the engineering and construction of such a wonderful uniting symbol,” said David Frost, division manager for Black & McDonald Limited.

The 20-by-20-foot heart will continue to illuminate the night sky for the month of January.

VJH Foundation executive director Kate McBrearty said the community rallied around the white heart campaign to show their great appreciation for health care teams and all essential workers.

“Hearts are still peppered throughout our neighbourhoods, representing the strength, compassion and love for individuals working on the front lines and in essential roles. We are proud to have the heart on our roof beat as a beacon of hope and symbol of resiliency as we move into a new year that looks to be full of hope for all of us,” McBrearty said.

The recent storm caused havoc across the North Okanagan, knocking out power to thousands, damaging property and toppling trees over.

READ MORE: Power restored to thousands, some Lake Country residents still in the dark


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jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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