Five year old’s picture on measles epidemic draws heart

A kiwi kid whose dad is here in Samoa with the New Zealand Medical Assistance Team is giving newspaper cartoonists a run for their money.

Matakana resident, Daniel Gibbons, aged five, sent his father Jeremy Gibbons a cartoon of his own design, a picture of Samoa, the measles epidemic and the medical teams on the ground.

Mr. Gibbons is a logistician with the N.Z.M.A.T working in Leulumoega and Faleolo Hospitals. 

He said it has been special working with the local team who have been “outstanding, going above and beyond to keep the system going, even with their own sick families.”

As a logistician, his job is keep everything ticking so the medical team can get their job done. 

For Mr. Gibbons, that is everything from making sure lunch arrives, doing laundry to coordinating incoming supplies.

It is his first long-term deployment with the N.Z.M.A.T, and his first two weeks away from his children Daniel and seven-year-old Alexandra.

But Daniel is used to communicating with dad pictorially, as his father works long and late shifts with the Fire and Emergency Services and Urban Search and Rescue.

It is his way of keeping his father abreast of his own life, sending him picture of activities he takes part it, as well as sharing what he has learned about what Mr. Gibbon’s is up to.

On the New Zealand High Commission social media, Daniel’s drawing is getting a lot of support.

“Daniel’s message was simple: he wanted to draw a picture of the work his dad, and all those on the ground here in Samoa — spot the nurse and the Samoan flag! — are doing to look after the sick and get vaccinations to those who need them.

“These are the kinds of pictures (and cartoons) we need more of, whanau; the ones that bring us back to what support and hope and working alongside each other looks like while we do our best to help during this crisis,” the High Commission wrote. 

“Thank you Daniel for understanding how much we need your dad, you'll have him home again in no time. God Bless you,” one commenter wrote.

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