Sun | Nov 18, 2018

Dr Suzanna Roye: kind, competent, caring

Published:Saturday | March 5, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Dr Suzanna Roye

Dr Suzanna Roye: kind, competent, caring

Dr Suzanna Roye, who passed away on Saturday, February 20, 2016 at the University Hospital (reportedly as the first in Jamaica to die from complications of swine flu), was an absolutely wonderful person. When it comes to the most attractive, admirable and desirable attributes anyone can possess, she displayed many such finer qualities, both at the personal and professional levels.

Dr Roye worked very hard and well at the Mandeville Regional Hospital in the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department, and the Accident and Emergency Department, and was widely regarded by patients and colleagues as a most courteous, caring and competent doctor.

I knew Suzanna for more than 30 years, from high-school days to our sojourns in Russia where we studied general medicine (this lasted seven years), to the days of internship at Mandeville Regional, and thereafter.

What I admired most were her charm, determination and resilience. Life in Russia in the late 1980s to mid-1990s when we studied there was not just quite challenging, but really rough going, testing the tenacity of those foreigners who dared to venture in. She studied in Rostov, where temperatures in winter dipping to -40 degrees centigrade were often the norm. Russia then was experiencing many political, economic and social upheavals. There was a year of tight food rationing. The reality of racism and other forms of discrimination could not be ignored.

Yes, it was rough for the male students, more so for the very few female students. Suzanna was strengthened and did not lose her charm and her signature sweet smile. Her resilience is exemplified by the fact that two years ago, she survived the onslaught of a medical complication that could have taken her life within seconds, but was back on track, health-wise, in a relatively short time.

It was a similar story during her last illness. Yes, she hung on dearly for more than three weeks in intensive care against all odds until she finally succumbed.

Her sun has set. Condolences to her family and other loved ones. There will, however, be no sunset on the memories of Dr Suzanna Roye, who shone a bright light for thousands. She has passed on, but many are alive and well because of the compassion, commitment and competence of this absolutely wonderful doctor.