St Ann's Hospital

A nurse attached to the St Anns Hospital was laid to rest yesterday, after apparently losing a battle with complications caused by COVID-19.

President of the Trinidad and Tobago Nurses’ Association (TTRNA), Idi Stuart, however, noted he was uncertain as to the source of his infection.

“We cannot confirm that it’s directly related to COVID-19, however, we are aware that he would have contracted the virus…over the course of last year and would have had to be admitted. We understand that he would have recovered from that initial infection, however, the complications since then had placed a great strain on his health and unfortunately, after about a three-month battle with those complications he sadly passed away,” he said.

The news, Stuart said, sent a huge shockwave through the nursing community and the association is deeply saddened by his passing. He said he hopes that the Regional Health Authority gives the nurse’s family the benefits owed to him.

“We are part of a mandatory contributory pension plan which has not been going to relatives when their loved ones day in duty,” he said.

“That is in the law and that is what’s supposed to happen but we always get from the Authorities that they are auditing the books… and the relatives have not been receiving the disbursement.”

Stuart said it was difficult knowing how the nurse would have contracted the virus but noted that during the time he contracted it, there was an outbreak at St Ann’s Hospital where he was stationed as a psychiatric nurse.

“But we cannot say with any level of certainty (his infection) was directly related to (the) workplace or on the outside,” he said.

Stuart said that if the nurse’s passing is confirmed to be linked to his COVID-19 infection, “it would mean a first for Trinidad and Tobago.”

He said Barbados recently lost their first nursing fatality. (RK)