NEWS
04/08/2018 14:42 EDT | Updated 04/11/2018 20:43 EDT

Dr. Hassan Masri Praises Medical Staff Treating Humboldt Broncos Victims

His first-person account of the "code orange" emergency called out the many unseen helping hands.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/HANDOUT - Hassan Masri
Dr. Hassan Masri is shown in this undated handout photo.

UPDATE - April 11, 2018: Humboldt Broncos athletic therapist Dayna Brons died of her injuries in hospital, 5 days after the bus crash. She is the 16th fatality in the accident.

A doctor who helped treat the victims of the fatal Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Saskatchewan shared words of praise and thanks for the medical staff in attendance in the emergency room, as well as devastating details of the tragic aftermath.

Hassan Masri shared a post on Facebook Saturday morning about the "code orange" at Saskatoon's Royal University Hospital, which signals that mass casualties are expected. Fifteen people were killed when a semi T-boned the coach bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team. Another 14 were injured.

"Last night can only be described as the longest, worst and most tragic night of my career. The images can't be unseen or forgotten, the stories can't be unheard or ignored."

Masri went on to acknowledge the many people who dropped everything to handle the emergency. "The performance during this code orange was nothing but phenomenal," he said, thanking first the nurses in the emergency department and the intensive care unit.

Your tears made it easier for my tears to flow. Your passion, care and love is so admirable. I thank you for being the amazing humans that you are. You saved many lives and comforted 100s of other lives.Dr. Hassan Masri to the ER and ICU nurses

Masri also thanked the other physicians who dropped everything to assist the ER staff. He thanked the respiratory therapists, the medical residents, the social workers and the hospital's organization.

"May this be my first and final Code Orange. Never want to see what I saw again," he wrote. "What an honour to know that you all have helped save a large number of lives."

Everyone worked through the night treating the patients and attending to family members. "You see the mothers who are trying to cuddle their 19-year-old or 22-year-old in a stretcher, and the little sisters of these patients and the older brothers, and you start to hear the stories, and the pictures that they're showing you of their loved ones — that's when the shock and reality starts to really hit," Masri told The Canadian Press Saturday.

"You start to look around and everyone is in tears, whether it's the medical personnel, whether it's the nurses or the patients' families or everyone."

Masri said he hadn't heard the news about the crash when he showed up for his 12-hour shift as an intensive care doctor at the hospital at 8 p.m. Friday. He headed to the emergency department to see what was going on, and saw a massive number of physicians, surgeons, neurosurgeons, residents, nurses and other personnel.

Each patient would have their own team with an ER doctor, a surgeon, a resident, a respiratory therapist, and a nurse, he said.

They had just under two hours to get ready.

Jonathan Hayward/THE CANADIAN PRESS
The wreckage of a fatal crash outside of Tisdale, Sask., is seen Saturday. A bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos hockey team crashed into a truck en route to Nipawin for a game Friday night killing 14 and sending over a dozen more to the hospital.

"The people in Saskatoon and around Saskatoon and smaller towns are very close-knit families. People knew who was in the bus. People knew somebody who knew somebody who was on the bus," Masri said.

"People could relate because a lot of people have kids that play on hockey teams that travel from town to town so this was personal."

Masri, whose parents are from Syria, volunteered with other doctors for two weeks in the war-torn country in 2011, an experience he said helped prepare him to attend to the Broncos patients, he told the Canadian Press.

In 2015, he shared a Facebook post that went viral about the first planeload of Syrian refugees who arrived to Canada.

"This is Canada I have nothing else to say. This is Canada," he wrote.

By Rob Drinkwater, The Canadian Press with files from Lisa Yeung, HuffPost Canada.