Tue | Dec 1, 2020

Intern died doing what he loved best – helping children

Published:Monday | August 17, 2020 | 12:27 AMGareth Davis Sr/Gleaner Writer
Dr Yakeev Morris.
Dr Yakeev Morris.

CHARLES TOWN, St Mary:

“Goodnight. I will see you later in the week.”

Those were the last words a now-grieving Doreen Murray will forever remember saying to her 26-year-old son and promising medical intern, Yakeev Morris.

Morris, the youngest of five children and the pride and joy of Charles Town, a hilly, rural community in St Mary, died suddenly on August 12 while on duty at the Annotto Bay Hospital, where he had been assigned as an intern since early July.

“I am still in shock. Total disbelief ... that he is gone. Never once had the slightest idea or any indication that anything like this could happen,” a bereaved Murray told The Gleaner, her voice cracking.

Morris gave his mother his last farewell on Monday night, August 10, before heading off to his grandmother’s house in Charles Town where he had been staying. The intern had passed a physical before being assigned to duty and appeared very healthy, Murray said.

“I didn’t know that would be the last time I would hear his voice ... and that [that] would be the last time I would see him alive,” said Murray.

Morris’ death has not only plunged the island’s medical fraternity into mourning but has brought out an outpouring of grief from health officials, including Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton.

Tufton said he was awaiting a report into Morris’ death, as well as the autopsy results.

For Murray, though, nothing can describe the pain of the grieving heart of a mother.

She said, however, that she was comforted by the support of family, friends, and the Charles Town community, as well as the staff at the Annotto Bay Hospital and the North East Regional Health Authority. Counselling has also been offered.

“While we are still in shock, we have been overwhelmed by all the love and support that has been coming in for ‘Bop-Bop’,” Murray said, referencing the intern’s childhood pet name.

“Even though he just started his internship at the hospital nearly a month ago, he was well liked by the staff, including his colleague doctors, and has been nothing but a source of pride for me.”

Murray said that her son, a past student of Ardenne High School, had always wanted to become a doctor and “spoke about nothing else” while growing up.

SPECIAL LOVE FOR CHILDREN

She still reminisces about the straight-A student who always took pleasure in “provoking his mother just for fun”.

Murray added that Morris had a special love for children and that it was only fitting that he had been assigned to the children’s ward at the hospital.

“It’s also strange that he died doing what he did best – helping children,” Murray said.

“According to the reports we have had from the Annotto Bay Hospital, my son died just prior to accompanying a child who was waiting to be transferred to the Bustamante Children Hospital, Kingston.”

Meanwhile, the Jamaica Medical Students’ Association (JAMSA), through its Twitter account, expressed condolences to Morris’ family late Wednesday night.

“Today we mourn the loss of a new medical intern, Yakeev Morris. He served the JAMSA Council as special project coordinator in 2017-18. Rest well,” the tweet said.