News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. May 8, 2020: Many Caribbean immigrants continue to put their lives on the frontline in the US daily to serve amid while others are safely in their homes in this pandemic. And, because of that, many have themselves fallen victim to the coronavirus. Here are 12 you should remember:
Dennis Dickson, 62, was born in Guyana and worked for 14 years as a janitor with the New York City Police Department. He was assigned the first floor of headquarters, which includes the memorial wall that lists the names of the officers who died in the line of duty. As COVID-19 presented another crisis for the city, Dickson again stepped up, working to disinfect 1 Police Plaza before he himself fell ill.
“Mr. Dickson was again on the front line cleaning and disinfecting 1 Police Plaza so that our personnel could be here safely, allowing them to continue to serve the people of the City Of New York,” police officials said in a statement.
Dickson died on March 26, 2020 from COVID-19 at Brooklyn’s Kings County Hospital and was the first NYPD casualty of the coronavirus pandemic.
Rosemary Coutou-Figaro, 52, was a nurse in Brooklyn, NY who was originally from south Trinidad. She was employed at the Kings Brook Hospital in Brooklyn. Coutou-Figarowas admitted to hospital will flu-like symptoms in mid-March. She returned home and was readmitted after her condition worsened a week later. She developed pneumonia and a chest infection and died on April 9, 2020. She was the mother of 2.
Winston Hugh Pratt
Winston Hugh Pratt was born in Jamaica on Dec 5, 1955 and attended the Kingston Technical & CAST/Utech. He migrated to the US and worked as a NY Transit worker for 29 years died on April 7, 2020. He is survived by his wife Heather.
Sieunarine Ramnarine was born in Trinidad and Tobago and migrated to the US where he worked as an employee at DJ Ambulette Service in the Bronx, New York, which provided transportation services for nursing homes, adult daycare centres and hospitals. He developed stomach pains which he thought was not connected to the virus and later went to Bronx Lebanon Hospital. He passed away on Sunday, March 30, 2020 at 1 p.m.
Ian William Wilson
Ian William Wilson, a.k.a Pete and Willo was born in Jamaica in 1967 and grew up with his grandmother in the Kingston Garden community. He attended Alpha Primary, then went on to Kingston College before migrating to the Bronx, US in 1988 and served in the US Marine Cor. In 1998, he graduated from Iona College with a degree in nursing and worked as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) nurse at the Isabella Nursing Home in New York City. He was admitted to the St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx on March 26, 2020 and was placed in the ICU. One week later, on April 1, he passed away. Wilson is survived by his son, his mother, 5 sisters and 3 brothers.
Marilyn Howard is apparently the only school nurse in New York City Board of Education system killed by COVID-19. She emigrated from Guyana with her parents in 1981 at age 14 and helped care for four younger brothers. She first went to college at age 35, earned a master’s degree, and recently enrolled in Long Island University to become a nurse practitioner. Howard started feeling sick on March 14, a day after classes ended. She died on April 4, 2020.
Annis Creese who was born in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. She grew up in poverty and was sent to live with relatives in Trinidad and Tobago. She later migrated to the US and trained as a teacher. Creese, 73, was a Spanish teacher at Northwestern High School in Maryland and planned to retire at the end of this semester. She is the second educator at Northwestern High School and the third school employee to die from the novel coronavirus in Prince George’s County, Maryland. She died on April 5 in Hyattsville.
Dr. Ronald Verrier
Dr. Ronald Verrier was born in Haiti and graduated from the Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie in 1986 and trained at Lincoln Medical Center in the Bronx. He worked at St. Barnabas for two decades, performing thousands of surgeries on critically ill patients and trauma victims, while overseeing the general surgery residency program. Dr. Verrier spent the final weeks of his life tending to a torrent of patients infected with Covid-19. Workers at St Barnabas hospital struggled to find masks and gowns as staff set up makeshift morgues in the parking lot. He died April 8 at Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital in Oceanside, New York, at age 59, after falling ill from the novel coronavirus.
Prea Nankieshore was born in Guyana before migrating to the US. She started working in 2012 as a customer service rep at Northwell Health, a hospital network Long Island Jewish Forest Hills belongs to, before transferring to LIJ Forest Hills the next year. There she worked as a clerk in the emergency department registering patients. She showed up to work every day until she started feeling ill in late March.
On April 5, 2020, Nankieshore, 34, a mother of twin boys and hospital worker, passed away from the coronavirus. She had planned to get married in December to her fiancé, Marcus Khan.
“She was among the brave team members dedicated to our community and patients during this challenging time,” Mary Curran, the hospital’s chief nursing officer said in a statement. “But as we grieve, we will also persevere in caring for our patients with the grace and strength that Prea displayed day in and day out.”
Khemraj Mahadeo, 55, was born in Guyana before migrating to the US. He joined The New York Transit Authority where he worked in the Power Maintenance Pitkin Yard Repair Shop. He is survived by his widow, Ceriandia and two children, Sanjay and Anjaly.“Our union has suffered difficult losses. Brother Mahadeo was good union Brother, and well respected in the shop and throughout maintenance. Please pray for him and his family and friends,” Power Division Chair Steve Higgins said in a statement.
Oliver Cyrus was born in Guyana before migrating to NYC and working for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) as bus operator for 21 years. The 61-year-old Brooklyn resident and TWU Local 100 member drove buses for the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority, a subsidiary of the MTA that operates a handful of express and local bus routes. He worked out of Manhattanville bus depot in West Harlem. Cyrus died from complications related to the virus.
Wayne Benn Fingal
Wayne Benn Fingal was born in New Amsterdam, Berbice worked as a police officer. He later migrated to Brooklyn, NY and worked as a NY Transit Bus at Kingsbridge Depot in Brooklyn. He died on April 11, 2020. He was 59 and was on the job nearly 20 years.
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