Karen Sudu, Gleaner Writer
SPANISH TOWN, St Catherine:AFTER MARVINA Anderson was born prematurely on February 6, 2012, at the Spanish Town Hospital in St Catherine, her parents, Marvin Anderson and Patricia Powell-Anderson, were haunted by myriad questions.
"My baby weighed 1.23 kilogrammes when she was born, and at the end of four weeks, she got very sick, stopped breathing, and all of that," Powell-Anderson told Rural Xpress.
However, she said with prayers and the relentless efforts of the staff at the nursery, they eventually breathed a sigh of relief.
"The staff at the nursery, the doctors used their meagre resources to resuscitate her and she is now healthy and very energetic," Powell-Anderson, principal, Success Academy of Practical Nursing in Venecia, Linstead, said.
So Powell-Anderson collaborated with her students recently to show gratitude for the treatment and care given to Marvina during her eight weeks at the nursery.
"While Marvina was there and I visited her, and based on my nursing background, I observed that there were a lot of needs, and despite that, the nurses and doctors used the little that they had to work miracles daily to assist premature babies, and even full-term babies, who were very ill," she explained.
In fact, Dr Beverley Rodriques, consultant paediatrician, said there had been improvement in the number of premature babies who have survived.
"I think we've done quite well with our premature babies in terms of their survival. That has improved over the years through more intensive therapy, increasing staffing, and attention to details with everybody on-board working at the same time," she said.
On February 13, Powell-Anderson and her students made the first donation of fans, a hot plate, blankets, and other items to the paediatric ward at the facility that was built in 1952.
The second donation was made last Friday.
"Today, we are donating receivers, blankets, a DVD player, bodysuits, socks, caps, and other necessary items," she said.
Francine Williams, the student who made the presentation, said she was inspired to reach out to the less fortunate.
"I am compelled to give because in nursing, that's the main job: to take care of the less fortunate and those who are unable to take care of themselves," Williams told Rural Xpress.
Her colleagues, Sudene Taylor, Lashana Jobson, and Patricia James-Richards expressed similar sentiments.
"It gives me a good feeling knowing that I did something to help the babies and to know that the things are appreciated," Taylor said, adding that Powell-Anderson used every opportunity to remind them of the importance of giving.
Nurse Nicolette Shirley-Shakes, who has spent the last seven of her 10 years in the profession at the nursery, accepted the donation.
"We greatly appreciate the donation because it is always needed, and the nursery is quite filled and the donation came just in time," she said.
Rodriques, who also expressed appreciation for the donation, listed a number of other items which the nursery needs.
"We need particular medical equipment, but those are on order for the expansion, so help with smaller items like baby monitors, clothing, incubators, little shirt tops, booties, caps to keep them warm, phototherapy lights. Those are less expensive items," she explained.