Beacon of the day | Young nurse accepts big challenge, helps secure Jamaica’s first recovery from COVID-19

April 1, 2020 1 By Horace Mills

Kevin Morrison is now convinced that, despite initial apprehension, he made the right choice.

He recently opted to treat patients diagnosed with the highly contagious and deadly Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), which scientists and medical experts globally are still to struggling to fathom.

“I was scared on the first day when they asked me if I wanted to work with the patients – everybody generally was afraid,” Morrison said last leaving before commencing duties as a nurse at St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital in St. Ann.

He added: “In that moment when I felt afraid, I also felt that I had a purpose; I felt like it is something I had to do.”

Morrison also considered the reason he made a childhood decision to become a healthcare worker. “I wanted to do something that gave my life meaning – something through which I could help others,” he posited.

He now has no regret.

Morrison has been treating COVID-19 patients for weeks now.

“I don’t see them as COVID patients; I see them as regular men and women like us,” he told The Beacon. “When I go in to treat them, people ask why I am with them for so long. But I generally start up a conversation with them, and we knock a few jokes and so on.”

The energetic young nurse, who also wants to become an actor, has helped to achieve Jamaica’s first case of full recovery from COVID-19.

The recovered patient, who is a 31-year-old cruise ship worker living on the outskirts of Ocho Rios in St. Ann, was released from St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital at 10PM Sunday night, March 29.

Morrison, who did not disclose any information about patients, said the COVID-19 pandemic has brought new significance to his profession – at least in the public’s eye. But he noted that the act of nursing patients to full recovery is a daily occurrence within hospital walls.

Morrison, who is a native of Great Pond district in Ocho Rios, has been working at St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital since June 2018.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of the West Indies; he is a past student of Ocho Rios Primary School, Ferncourt High, and St. Mary High School (Sixth Form).

Morrison grew up with his grandmother Pearline Howell and three older brothers. During that time, his mother Sylvia Ambursley was overseas trying to secure a better life for herself and her family.

The healthcare worker considers it a distinct pleasure to now serve his home communities.

“Majority of the persons I see at the hospital are the same persons I’ll see on the road, and so it gives me a sense of closeness with my patients and my community,” he told The Beacon.

He however admitted that there is a lot of stigma attached to men becoming nurses – although he has never experienced it.

“A lot of people believe that, once you go into nursing as a man, you are somewhat feminine or you are a homosexual, but I can tell the world that’s not the case… Until we get above that stigma and stop making careers gendered, we will still have that problem,” Morrison reasoned.

He wants the world to not lose sight of one important lesson from the COVID-19 pandemic; the lesson that life is what really matters – not one’s status, profession or material possession.

“We don’t hear a lot of persons mention anything about racism or prejudice; people are more concerned about life and the preservation of same,” he opined.

Morrison, in the meantime, said he would like to be immortalized as a person who likes to lighten other people’s day.

“I want to be remembered as a humble soul – one who lived his best life,” he added.

By Horace Mills, Journalist

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