Simply beautiful. This was the expression of 72-year-old Jemma Noray, a chronic disease patient attending George Street Health Facility’s annual Chronic Disease appreciation day for patients held on Thursday.
Dressed to impress their guests, staff members were clad in plaid shirts, jeans, boots and cowboy hats to reflect the theme, “Texas Jamboree: without the guns and ammunition.” Some patients were also seen dressed in western, cowboy wear, while their walking sticks were decorated with horse heads as handles.
More than 20 staff members came together to raised $10,000 among themselves to provide lunch, treats, entertainment and give-aways for more than 100 patients. Another patient who only identified herself as Joan commended the nurses for the exemplary work they have been doing over the years.
“Sometimes they don’t really get the recognition they deserve, They do a lot for us here at George Street. It’s a special group of nurses and I pray God continue to bless them for all the work they are doing especially for the less fortunate. Everyone here will just see this event but the bigger picture is that throughout the year these nurses do their best for us,” Joan said.
Speaking to Newsday, senior nurse Pearl Lamy said the event is in its fifth year and patients looks forward to the event. She said the function is to prove the staff’s love to the patients and to provide a fun and activity day for them.
“This initiative also helps to encourage them to come out their homes to a high risk area such as George Street. We want to let our patients know they are loved by the people who care for them.” Lamy said although the event is not funded by the Ministry of Health, staff members are always willing and able to reach the needs of the patients.
She said the initiative came about five years ago after hearing about some of the stories patients shared with nurses. “Some of them don’t really have people in their lives to take them out or don’t have any recreation activities in their lives.
“We are going to continue to encourage patients to use this opportunity to come out and have some fun. If you talk to a lot of them they live under their beds in fear and don’t go anywhere. They are afraid to leave their homes,” Lamy said. She said the patients were given invitation on their appointed days and the patients look forward to the event every year.
The patients enjoyed a mouth-watering menu of macaroni and cheese, corn on the cob, pink beans, corn bread and non-alcohol beverages.